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Cargo Theft Activity and COVID-19

Incident Description
Several organizations have contacted CargoNet the past few weeks to inquire what the COVID-19 outbreak might mean for cargo theft and the security of the supply chain. We’re in uncharted waters and it is difficult to know exactly how people will react, but we can offer our observations of how theft has changed so far and potential future issues.

Professional Thieves are Using the Outbreak to Their Advantage
So far, we’ve seen more brazen heists like the theft of 7 truckloads of copper scrap in Riverton, IL on 3/23/20 and 3/24/20. We theorize it is possible that thieves recognize that law enforcement may likely have shifted priorities or changed operating practices in response to the pandemic.

Additionally, CargoNet has noted increased targeting of goods that are now in high demand. Some examples include:

a. A truckload amount of nitrile gloves stolen in Charleston, SC on 3/24/20.
b. A truckload amount of whiskey from Atlanta, GA on 3/31/20.
c. A truckload amount grocery goods stolen in Perris, CA on 3/27-3/29/20.

The Impact of Economic Hardship and Civil Unrest
CargoNet has concern that shipments of food and beverage product, medical supplies, or other essential household goods may be targeted by people affected by economic hardship or panicked by the pandemic. This might mostly likely manifest in the form of burglary of parked, loaded trailers. Seal integrity on these shipments on these shipments is very important and even a minor trailer burglary event could lead to the entire shipment having to be destroyed.

It is more important than ever to keep our supply lines secure. We’ve sent out notices to the transportation and insurance industry that CargoNet will be providing complimentary cargo theft response services to any victim of theft. It is vital that we learn about any cargo theft in this time, so we can work to make sure law enforcement and public health officials are properly notified. If your agency has received report of a cargo theft, CargoNet is reachable 24/7 by calling 888-595-2638 or by emailing

Click here to view a brief letter to the industry, explaining our concerns, how to report a theft, and offering some security tips to mitigate victimization. Please distribute this as you see fit, we are seeking to inform as much of the industry as possible.

Contact Information
Those with information are asked to contact the CargoNet Command Center at 1-888-595-2638.