While Wall Street is tanking, another market is booming, says the Dallas Morning News: Authorities say nationwide losses from cargo thefts, largely truck heists, have reached at least $15 billion annually. “People don’t realize how big it is,” said J.J. Coughlin, a former Dallas police officer who chairs the Southwest Transportation Security Council. “It’s kind of a silent crime. It’s not romantic and exciting. Bonnie and Clyde don’t do it, but crooks have figured out if they can steal one tractor trailer with the right load, it’s worth millions.”
Florida-based Cuban gangs have an affinity for cargo loads from the Alliance Corridor in Tarrant County, Tx. Stolen goods have shown up as far away as Central America. Gangs identify what they want to steal and then methodically set out to do it. They are smart, patient, and tough to catch. Gangs typically fly in, rent a car and head to an area flush with distribution centers. “They’ll watch how the operation works,” said Lt. Twan Uptgrow of the Miami-Dade Police Department. “The minute that load is vulnerable, they’ll take it.” Authorities haven’t tracked the exact number of cargo thefts, but the FBI estimates that heists cost $15 billion to $30 billion annually. Congress passed a law requiring the FBI to collect data, but it hasn’t yet.