Cargo thefts on the rise in Texas, analysts say

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Cargo thefts on the rise in Texas, analysts say

Cargo theft is increasing in Texas with no indication of slowing down according to analysts. The use of technology has facilitated the development of sophisticated fraudulent schemes. This trend has been highlighted by Keith Lewis, Vice President of Operations at CargoNet, who noted that it has become a profitable industry for criminals. Texas is specifically experiencing a 22 percent increase in cargo theft compared to the same period last year. The efficiency of moving goods through the supply chain plays a role in enabling theft, as mentioned by Lewis.

Advancements in technology have transformed the methods employed by thieves to steal goods. Transactions are now predominantly conducted electronically, eliminating traditional face-to-face interactions. This shift has made it easier for criminals to intercept loads without physical contact. The stolen goods typically include small appliances, liquor, energy drinks, solar panels, virtual reality headsets, and copper, which are currently in demand. CargoNet estimates that a total of $153.6 million worth of goods were stolen in the first quarter of this year.

As a consequence of these thefts, costs are expected to eventually be transferred to consumers. Frank Matarazzo, CEO of Fusion Transport, raised concerns about the financial implications of cargo theft, noting that the burden may lead to higher prices for consumers and potential challenges in acquiring insurance.

Transportation companies are actively addressing this issue by implementing measures to combat theft. Matarazzo mentioned the establishment of specialized departments within companies dedicated to tackling this problem. One approach involves rigorous carrier vetting processes, including detailed checklists to verify the identities of carriers and trucks arriving at facilities. Additionally, stringent oversight throughout the transportation process is being enforced.

It is essential to recognize that cargo theft is a felony, and if the value of the stolen cargo exceeds $200,000, it is classified as a first-degree felony. The transportation industry is adapting to these challenges and actively working towards mitigating the risks associated with cargo theft.

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