Preventing cargo theft is always the goal. But what should you do when things don’t go according to plan? Law enforcement can play a key role in returning your cargo, but only if you know how to work with them.
On the latest Intelligence Perspective, Overhaul’s Intelligence & Response Manager Danny Ramon met with John Cannon, Overhaul’s Law Enforcement Liaison. Together, the two discussed how to partner with law enforcement to protect your cargo, before, during, and after a theft event.
Watch the full episode here, and read on to see our highlights:
How Law Enforcement Can Help Protect Cargo from Theft
Breaking Down a Recent Theft
The episode began with an overview of straight theft, which differs from the strategic theft covered in last month’s episode. Straight theft occurs when an entire tractor and trailer is stolen from a parking lot, truck stop, or similar location after being left unattended.
Cannon then discussed a recent incident of straight theft that took place in Indiana. It began when a driver stopped at a gas station for his break. While he was occupied, cargo thieves broke into his truck and stole a load of gaming consoles.
“Per protocol, the driver contacted Overhaul and advised us [of the theft],” said Cannon. “After Overhaul was notified of this theft, we contacted our law enforcement in the area. We told them what was going on, and gave them information about the tractor-trailer. We [also] provided tracking information to law enforcement while the tractor-trailer was rolling down the road.”
What Went Right:
Thanks to the truck driver’s quick reporting and Overhaul’s quick response, law enforcement was able to take immediate action. As the officers began searching, Overhaul continued to send them updates about the tractor-trailer’s location.
“We noticed it made a quick stop about two exits south of where it was stolen,” said Cannon. “At this time, we realized the type of thieves we were dealing with. We’re very familiar with how they do cargo theft. We let law enforcement know [the cargo] was probably being towed by a different tractor, probably of a different color than the tractor that was stolen.”
Cannon was correct: the thieves had hooked the trailer to a new tractor in order to throw law enforcement off their trail. They had also added new mailbox numbers to the side of the trailer in order to further camouflage the vehicle.
“We informed law enforcement that it was a Great Dane trailer and to look for that information on the back,” said Cannon. “After they located it, we saw the Wi-Fi pop up on our side, so we knew they had the right [one]. They pulled it over and put the driver into custody and recovered the load intact.”
Working with Law Enforcement to Protect Cargo
Law enforcement played a critical role in recovering the stolen cargo, but things could have gone very differently. Several factors aided law enforcement in the retrieval, including timely notification and accurate information.
“In this case, the driver notified us very [quickly] that the tractor-trailer had been stolen,” said Cannon. “We also had accurate information regarding the tractor-trailer, [including] the tag number, trailer number, the truck number, and everything else to provide law enforcement.”
Cannon also stressed how Overhaul’s relationship with law enforcement played a role in the recovery. Though Overhaul usually works with cargo theft task forces, this recovery only involved local officers. When cargo falls outside a task force’s network, the experiences of professionals like Cannon proves especially valuable in being able to efficiently and effectively communicate the issue, and essentially train local officers on cargo theft “on the fly.”
“If at 2 o’clock in the morning you get that call that your cargo’s been stolen, then you’re looking for someone to call at 2 o’clock in the morning,” said Cannon. “It’s important you develop and maintain those relationships. And you can do that through inviting the officers in your particular jurisdiction over for coffee, or just going down to the station and meeting with them. You can also attend law enforcement conferences around the country.”
One such conference is the TAPA T1 Conference in Dallas. If you’re a law enforcement officer and you’d like to attend, reach out to Cannon to learn about scholarship opportunities. And for more cargo theft prevention tips, tune into the next episode of The Intelligence Perspective.