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ATA wants legislative action to curb cargo theft

Friday, July 17, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Ford Boswell
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Across the United States, cargo theft is up 11 percent over then same period in 2014, according to the theft prevention and recovery network CargoNet.

The network examined the period from March to May for its findings. While California, Florida, and Illinois had the biggest decreases, cargo theft increased in New Jersey and Texas and occurred in a wider distribution of states during the rolling quarter.

Here in Alabama, trucking officials have also noticed an uptick in cargo theft.

“Our members are reporting that cargo theft is growing problem for their fleets -- and there is no sign that it’s going to slow down without some more drastic measures,” said Frank Filgo of the Alabama Trucking Association. “Our leadership has approached me to seek help from state lawmakers for increased penalties and provisions for increased patrolling of known problem locations. We are in the process now of planning our approach.”

Filgo said the he is already contacting lawmakers who can introduce legislation. He is optimistic something will be introduced in the next session. “We have a few ideas, and our initial conversations have been positive and encouraging.”

While Texas is always in the top three states for cargo theft in the United States, according to CargoNet, it has noticed increased volume in the past few months. CargoNet examined theft data in the state from March 1 to May 31 in 2014 and 2015 and found cargo theft is up 27 percent. This comes as Texas legislators push for stricter penalties for cargo theft.

Overall, thefts from truck stops went from being the lowest category in 2014 to the category with the most thefts. Similarly, roadside thefts were low in 2014 but the second-highest category in 2015.

CargoNet said over the last three years it has noticed an increase in theft incidents reported to its command center during the week around the July 4 holiday. It has provided a snapshot of the events, including theft by state, day, commodity, location, and theft type, from July 1 through July 7. An infographic about this is available on the CargoNet website.

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