172 new cargo crimes were reported to TAPA’s Incident Information Service in EMEA in December 2016. Losses for the 41.9% of these crimes with a value were €7.2 million. The United Kingdom recorded most freight thefts with 60.


2016, a year of month-on-month increases in recorded cargo crimes, ended on another disappointing high for manufacturers and logistics service providers with an average of more than five newly-reported incidents a day in December. Overall, TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) captured data on 172 freight thefts during the month and losses of €7,262,800 for the 41.9% of these crimes stating a value.

Following a trend seen throughout the year, the majority of crimes occurred in just four countries in EMEA; the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany and Sweden, which accounted for 88.9% of all losses reported to IIS last month. The UK accounted for the highest number of these crimes with 60 or 34.9% of the total. Altogether, freight losses were identified in 12 countries in the EMEA region during the month.

December’s figures were 84.9% higher than the 93 freight crimes reported to TAPA’s IIS in the final month of 2015. This meant every single month of 2016 saw a significant  increase in recorded cargo crimes over the corresponding month a year earlier.

The average loss for December 2016, based on incidents with a loss value, was €100,872.

In the 31 days of the month, IIS received reports of 11 major cargo crimes with losses in excess of €100,000. Eight of these thefts took place in the UK. Major losses were also recorded in France and South Africa. TAPA has been asked not to report any information on the other high value incident.

By far the highest loss last month occurred on 12 December and involved a forced stop and robbery of an armoured vehicle en route in Lyon, France. Four thieves reportedly used two cars to block the route of the vehicle at a motorway exit leading to an industrial estate to the north of the city. The driver and guard were subsequently locked inside the armoured truck and the thieves then set one of their abandoned cars on fire before escaping with Jewellery/Precious Metals valued at €2,381,860.

The eight major losses in the UK resulted in a combined loss of €2,339,695. This is made up of the following crimes:


On 21 December, the driver of an LGV brazenly drove onto the location of an electronic goods warehouse and is said to have helped himself to a large shipment of Phones. The Services 3rd Party Facility targeted is in Accrington, Lancashire.    


Clothing & Footwear products were stolen after thieves gained entry to a secure parking site in Purfleet, Essex. They reportedly forced open 10 trailers before making off with a shipment of jeans. This incident took place on 10 December.  


Prosecco valued at €287,880 was the target in this Theft of Trailer crime, which also occurred at a secure parking location, this time in Kettering, Northamptonshire. According to intelligence shared with TAPA’s IIS, the offenders entered the yard in a tractor vehicle and hitched it to the parked and unattended trailer in order to steal the goods on 15 December. 


Alcohol was also stolen in this theft from an Origin Facility in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, on 9 December involving a Deceptive Pick-Up. The driver of an HGV with cloned license plates was allowed to collect the load from the warehouse and leave the site unchallenged.    


This Theft of Vehicle crime saw the loss of menswear products on 18 December. According to IIS data, thieves were able to steal a loaded trailer from a logistics yard in Birmingham, West Midlands.


The third high value loss from a supposedly secure parking location in the UK in December, this incident on 20 December took place in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, and involved the theft of a trailer and its cargo of sports shoes and clothing. Thieves are said to have accessed the site driving an HGV with a stolen semi-trailer. They unhitched the trailer in order to steal a parked and unattended unit and its cargo.


Another incident in Lutterworth in Leicestershire. On this occasion, thieves cut open the curtain side of a parked and attended truck to steal Computers & Laptops on 4 December. 


The third major cargo crime reported in Lutterworth took place on 30 December, another Theft of Vehicle involving the cutting open of the curtain side of a parked and attended HGV in a layby on the A5 main road.  This resulted in the loss of a cargo of kitchen appliances.


TAPA’s IIS recorded a further 22 crimes in December with a loss value of between €50,000 and €100,000. Vigilant is not allowed to publish the details of two of these thefts. On the remaining 20, regular readers of this IIS update will not be surprised to hear that 18 took place in the UK. 

-        €93,082 – Prosecco stolen in a Theft from Vehicle incident in Northampton, UK, on 13 December.

-        €87,915 – 47 pallets of unspecified cargo taken from a truck at an unsecured parking location in Harworth, Nottinghamshire, UK, on 5 December. 

-        €78,946 – Toys stolen from a parked and attended HGV at a unsecured parking location in Gloucestershire, UK, on 13 December.

-        €78,411 – Fridges stolen from a parked and attended truck on 9 December at a Road Transportation Facility on the M1 in Buckinghamshire, UK, after thieves cut open the curtain side of the vehicle.

-        €78,411 – Another Theft from Vehicle crime involving ‘curtain cutting’ of a parked and attended trailer. This incident on 9 December took place in an unsecured lay-by in Northamptonshire and resulted in the loss of bottles of brandy and prosecco.

-        €77,536 – Tyres stolen from a parked and attended truck in Castle Donnington, Leicestershire, UK, on 23 December.

-        €76,361 – Thieves entered a secure parking site in Northamptonshire, UK, on 22 December and stole an unattended semi-trailer loaded with cleaning products.   

-        €71,686 – A cargo of motorcycle helmets stolen from a parked and attended truck in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK, on 6 December.

-        €65,342 – Few details are available on this loss. However, it was another incident in Lutterworth, UK, the location of three major cargo crimes last month. 

-        €64,613 – A Theft from Vehicle of unspecified cargo in Annesley, Nottinghamshire, UK, on 23 December.

-        €63,588 – On 9 December, a shipment of training shoes was stolen in this Theft from Vehicle incident in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK.

-        €59,402 – Theft of washing machines in the UK. The offenders cut the curtain side of the parked and attended vehicle in Kettering, Northamptonshire, on 10 December. 

-        €58,739 - Loss of unspecified products from a Road Transportation Facility in North Muskham, Nottinghamshire, on 22 December. Another curtain cutting crime. 

-        €58,514 – Thieves cut the curtain side of a parked and attended truck in Corby, Northamptonshire, UK, on 19 December. No product details were recorded.

-        €57,026 – No cargo details were reported for this truck curtain cutting crime at an unsecured lay-by in Nottingham, UK, on 7 December.

-        €53,701 – A shipment of cigarettes stolen after thieves made a forced entry of a parked and attended truck at a secure parking location in St. Helens, Merseyside, UK, on 9 December 

-        €53,092 – Shoes were stolen in this attack on a truck at a Road Transportation Facility in Catalonia, Spain, on 9 December, while the driver was asleep in his cab during a break.

-        €52,865 – Theft of Vehicle with no load. Thieves broke through a wire fence in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, UK, and moved five HGVs without using keys in order to steal a specific vehicle.

-        €51,761 – A shipment of training shoes taken from a parked and attended truck at an unsecured lay-by near the M61 motorway in Bolton, Lancashire, UK, on 9 December.

-        €51,138 – Three pallets of electrical goods were stolen from an unlocked trailer in Västra Götaland, Sweden, on 1 December.


74 or 43.1% of the 172 new freight thefts in December either did not specify the products that were stolen or the goods were recorded as miscellaneous. There were also 11 cases, 6.4% of the total, which involved the theft of a truck and/or trailer where the vehicle in question was carrying no load.

The remaining thefts showed losses in 16 TAPA IIS product categories. Food & Drink, which featured in 18 or 10.5% of December incidents, recorded the highest number of losses. The other IIS categories with 10 or more recorded thefts last month were:

·       Furniture/Household Appliances – 11 or 6.4%

·       Cosmetics & Hygiene – 10 or 5.8%

·       Computers/Laptops – 10 or 5.8%

·       Clothing & Footwear – 10 or 5.8%


TAPA EMEA’s new Secure Parking Programme can’t come soon enough as December’s data once again shows Unsecured Parking locations as the locations where the highest number of cargo crimes occur, accounting for 65 or 37.8% of the monthly total. Unsecured parking places probably also account for the majority of the 46 or 26.7% of incidents where the location is recorded as unknown.

Nine different types of locations for cargo thefts were recorded by the IIS team in the final month of 2016. Origin Facility with 15 or 8.7% and Secured Parking with 13 or 7.6% were the only other locations to record double-figure losses.


The figures for December are dominated by Theft from Vehicle. It was the type of incident recorded in 111 or 64.5% of the month’s crime reports to IIS. Theft from Trailer and Theft of Vehicle with 15 or 8.7% and 13 or 7.6% were the other two main types of locations for newly-recorded crimes.

Similarly, Intrusion remained by far the most popular M.O. of cargo thieves. It was used in 110 or 63.9% of the cases reported to IIS in December.

For further intelligence, TAPA EMEA members can search the IIS incident database on the Association’s website.