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Cargo theft on the rise in Canada and the United States

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar25,2024

Cargo thefts on the rise in Canada and the United States

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The number of cargo thefts during transportation increased by 59% in Canada and the United States.

The Canadian Press

The rise in freight-related crime is accompanied by a rise in more sophisticated, digitally intelligent tactics that revolve around identity theft and drain money. x27;saving millions of dollars as higher cost of living drives demand for stolen goods.

The number of cargo thefts during the Transportation grew 59% in Canada and the United States last year, according to Verisk's data analytics firm CargoNet.

These 2,852 incidents occurred following an increase in the number of these thefts of 15% in 2022 and 20% in 2021.

Experts say more traditional methods of theft, such as cutting fences in freight yards and installing electrical cables in bus stations, remain popular. However, even these acts are often motivated by information gleaned from online shipping sites – which match shippers and carriers – or by phishing scams and other hacking methods.

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Previously, they randomly stole everything they could get their hands on. Now, if they have inside information on something, they will walk into a job site and drive through half a dozen trailers until they find the product they were told they had. ;he was there, then they will steal that particular one.

A quote from Mark Haywood, Peel Regional Police, Ontario

Digital hacks and tracking devices like Apple AirTags can also provide this inside information: the content or location of the shipment, for example. They have gained ground in the past year, in part because the methods are so inexpensive, said Danish Yusuf, chief executive of Toronto-based Zensurance.

The marginal cost of hacking the system is very low because it's just a person sitting in their basement somewhere, constantly trying, he explained. /p>

Other newer approaches that rely on strategic theft, in which criminals effectively induce shippers to hand over their goods, are also making their way.

The most common type is identity theft, where a group uses false documents to pose as an existing fleet, said Joe Palmer, who leads the company's transportation team. Gallagher Canada insurance company.

An online thief can find the #x27;identity of a legitimate carrier […], obtain their credentials and pretend to be someone else.

A quote from Joe Palmer, employee of the Gallagher Canada insurance company

Criminalists can offer an irresistibly low price to transport a cargo.

They flood people's inboxes and phone lines trying to get their hands on a shipment, Palmer said. /p>

Once obtained, the expensive cargo is rarely seen again by its rightful owners until it hits retail shelves, stripped of its illicit streak.

Reports of fictitious vans – also known as fraudulent vans – jumped 600% in 2022 in Canada and the United States, although they still only represent x27;a minority of the total, according to CargoNet.

Illegal wholesalers often present a wish list of high-demand items, much like car theft works now, Haywood said.

Food and beverages, household products and metals are now the most sought-after stolen goods in Canada, in that order, says CargoNet.

Food inflation over the past two years has triggered a commensurate rise in demand for meat and other edible products.

Of gray market grocers, Haywood says they might be able to pick up a $100,000 load for $30,000. There is no way to trace products like these. It's not like there are serial numbers on packages of chicken.

Stolen poultry or pork can, however, pose a health risk.

Sometimes , these foodstuffs are stolen, they sit on the side of the road for a day or two and maybe the refrigeration unit is turned off for a day, the police investigator said.

Electronic devices are also a high-value target.

The value of stolen shipments in Canada and the United States totaled $449 million per year. x27;last year, an increase of 47% from 2022, according to CargoNet.

This company found that Ontario accounts for 83 % of all merchandise theft cases in Canada, with the Toronto area the hottest spot, although police say offenses are spreading west as perpetrators attempt to escape a regional crackdown.

Even though the number of incidents reported in Canada actually decreased slightly in 2023, the figure remains 42% higher than 2021 levels.

Experts say the loss in value likely increased simultaneously.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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