July 4th cargo thefts may spoil the holiday weekend for some truck drivers. While many workers across America prepare for a fun, relaxing weekend, drivers may need to watch out. Reports of stolen cargo between July 1 and July 7th has been on the rise in recent years.
States such as California, Texas, and Florida show the most risk. Texas ranks first. California comes in second. And Florida steals third. In 2019, cargo theft occurred across 27 different states. Damages averaged around $128,416 per theft. While in 2018, more was stolen on the Friday of the holiday weekend, in 2019, the greatest losses happened on Thursday, July 4th itself. So how do we get those numbers back down?
Avoiding July 4th Cargo Thefts
To begin with, drivers should take note of areas with higher theft rates. Don’t leave cargo unattended in dense metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Atlanta, NYC Metro, or Miami. If you must leave your cargo unsupervised, do so in a high-security location. Look for areas with active security services, bright lighting, and secure boundaries such as fences.
You should also know the risk of what you’re carrying. The top targeted commodities include food and beverage, household goods, and building materials. (Some electronics were targeted as well, but those were more commonly warehouse robberies.) Parking lots show up as a prime spot for thieves to strike. Unsecured yards also make for easy targets.
Lastly, make sure all of your information is up to date. Police will need license plates, VIN, and visually descriptive information on vehicles and containers. Keep this information on you for easy access, in case your truck is stolen. Theft is an awful reality but a risk of the job. Make sure you’re practicing as many safety tips as you can.