Data for cargo thefts reported to TAPA EMEA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) in September 2017 showed a 1.7% year-on-year reduction in crimes. The 165 new losses recorded last month, however, produced a significantly higher loss than a year ago, with a total value of €6,887,453.

In reality, September 2017 losses will undoubtedly show year-on-year growth once data is shared by Dutch law enforcement partners, which was not available for last month as Vigilant went to press. Only one crime is currently included for the Netherlands for last month compared to 50 in the same period of last year. 

The average loss for September 2017, based on the 78.2% or 129 incidents providing financial data, was €53,391. Overall, TAPA’s IIS recorded incidents in 11 countries in the EMEA region.

These crimes included 12 major losses with a value of €100,000 or more, totalling €3,497,775. The highest value loss by far in September was the €1.7 million theft of Phones from an Aviation Transportation Facility at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport on 6 September. A truck driver arrived at a ground handling facility and handed over what was later identified as false documentation before his truck was loaded with 18 pallets of smartphones. All of the company’s security policies and procedures were reportedly adhered to. The theft only came to light when the designated driver arrived to pick up the cargo and was informed it had already been taken.

The 11 other major cargo thefts last month were:


On 1 September, several offenders stole Computers/Laptops from a truck parked in an unsecured parking location in Sande in Lower Saxony, Germany. They reportedly loaded the cargo into a red Sprinter van and fled the scene.


Training shoes were stolen in this Theft from Vehicle in Raunds, Northamptonshire, in the UK on 19 September. Thieves cut the curtain side of a parked and attended semi-trailer to access the products inside.


Another major loss in the United Kingdom, this crime on 11 September involved the M.O. of Theft from Moving Vehicle as it travelled along the A417, A42, M1 and M6 between Leicestershire and the West Midlands. Offenders travelling in several vehicles are said to have followed the truck from a logistics yard. The rear door locks and seal were both cut, enabling the thieves to reach the cargo of Phones.


The gates of a secured transport yard in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, UK, were forced open on 29 September. Once inside the yard, offenders were able to steal a tractor unit and a semi-trailer loaded with wines and spirits. 


Another Theft of Vehicle in the UK on 26 September saw thieves use Deception in order to steal a shipment of Tyres from a Destination Facility in Warley, West Midlands. The offenders reportedly lured the driver of a parked truck from his cab by pretending to be from the delivery location, enabling one of the gang to drive off with the vehicle and its load. 


Four semi-trailers loaded with fish products were stolen from a secured yard in Suffolk in the East of England on 24 September. The thieves are said to have used their own HGV tractor units.  


Fashion clothing was taken from a parked and attended truck after it stopped in an unsecured parking location in Basildon, Essex, in the UK on 12 September.


Clothing was also the target on 22 September when offenders opened the rear doors of an unsecured HGV and semi-trailer at the UK’s Markfield Motorway Service Area in Leicestershire, loading its cargo into a van. 



On 6 September, electrical items were stolen in another ‘curtain cutting’ incident in an unsecured parking location in the UK. The parked and attended truck had stopped in a layby in Crick, Northamptonshire. 


Musical instruments were lost in this Theft from Vehicle in Viersen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, on 27 September. Two trucks that were left in an unsecured location had been parked back-to-back to prevent anyone accessing the rear doors. The thieves, however, broke the window of the driver’s cab and were able to release the brakes so they could open the back doors.    


Germany was also the location for this incident on 20 September. Criminals cut the tarpaulin side of a truck that had been left in an unsecured parking location in Auetal, Lower Saxony. They were able to steal four pallets of Tobacco.   


TAPA EMEA’s IIS was also notified of a further 16 cargo thefts in September with a loss value of between €50,000 & €100,000. The combined total for these crimes was €1,099,312. Four IIS product categories suffered two losses each; Cosmetics & Hygiene, Food & Drink, Furniture/Household Appliances, and Tools/Building Materials. There were also single incidents involving losses of Clothing & Footwear, Computers/Laptops and Tobacco as well as four cases where the goods stolen were classified as either Miscellaneous or Unspecified.

The 10 highest incidents in this loss category were:

·       €95,861 – Beer stolen from a Services 3rd Party Facility in a Theft of Vehicle crime in Northamptonshire, UK, on 23 September. Thieves broke into a secure warehouse to steal the keys for the vehicle before loading it and escaping

·       €95,861 – Another Theft of Vehicle and unspecified cargo in the UK on 17 September in Worcester. Once again, thieves forced their way into a secured yard after cutting the locks on the main gates 

·       €93,644 – On 4 September, Tools/Building Materials were stolen from a truck in a secured parking place in Leicestershire, UK

·       €86,613 – A Theft from Trailer crime in Risley, Cheshire, UK, on 26 September and the loss of Computers/Laptops

·       €80,000 – 800 boxes of coffee machines and hand-held blenders were stolen when thieves targeted a truck parked at a petrol station in Fulda, Germany, on 7 September, cutting open its tarpaulin curtain

·       €74,884 – On 1 September, household goods where taken from two trailers left in an unsecured parking location on an industrial estate in Luton, Bedfordshire, in the UK

·       €72,177 – Fraud and Deception featured in this incident on 25 September when thieves approached a secured and attended truck at a Destination Facility in Enfield, London, UK. Posing as employees from the facility, they persuaded the driver to offload his cargo of Cosmetics & Hygiene products at a different location, from where they were stolen 

·       €70,937 – Toddington Motorway Service Area in Bedfordshire, UK, was the scene of several ‘curtain cutting’ incidents on 6 September as thieves targeted a number of trucks, resulting in the loss of electrical products

·       €60,038 – A Theft from Vehicle and the loss of cleaning machinery on 3 September. The offenders cut the curtain side of a parked and attended truck in an unsecured parking location in Northamptonshire, UK 

·       €58,013 – A shipment of deodorants was taken in yet another incident in the UK which involved thieves cutting open the tarpaulin side of a truck in an unsecured parking location. This crime occurred in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, on 8 September

There were another 38 crimes added to the IIS database last month with a loss from €25,000-€50,000, resulting in a total loss in this value range of €1,387,436.

Products stolen included:

·       Confectionary

·       Glue

·       Bicycle parts

·       Cigarette papers

·       Toothpaste

·       Tyres

·       Toys

·       Perfume

·       Kitchen products

·       Digital photo frames

·       Laptops

·       Vacuum cleaners

·       Clothing

·       Bath and shower products

·       Coffee machines

·       Deodorant

·       Cigarettes

·       Boots and shoes

114 or 69.1% of incidents in the UK

The majority of cargo crimes reported to TAPA EMEA last month took place in the UK, with the 114 incidents accounting for 69.1% of the monthly total. With no September data from Dutch law enforcement as Vigilant went to press, the only other country with a double-digit rate of incidents  was Germany with 23 or 14% of the newly-recorded thefts.

Losses were reported in 14 TAPA IIS product categories, although only 3 recorded 10 or more losses for the month:

·       Food & Drink – 19 incidents,11.5% of the monthly total

·       Clothing & Footwear – 15 or 9.1%

·       Furniture/Household Appliances – 12 or 7.3%

Two categories once again dominated the Types of Incident and Location data:

·       128 or 77.7% of crimes in September involved Theft from Vehicle

·       126 or 76.3% of incidents last month occurred when trucks stopped in unsecured parking locations

TAPA members can access further information on these crimes in the Incident Information Service (IIS) database in the password-protected members’ section of the Association’s website.