Truckers Worry About Cargo Thefts in DFW

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCDFW

    On the highways that criss-cross Dallas and Fort Worth, some truckers are now afraid to pull off the road.

    "You stop, you get fuel, you keep going." Truck driver Thomas Schnider says.

    The concern: gangs of thieves stealing trucks -- or everything inside the trailer.

    "T-shirts, tennis shoes, radios, equipment, they will unload your stuff real quick." Schnider says.

    Cargo Thefts on the Rise in DFW

    [DFW] Cargo Thefts on the Rise in DFW
    Truckers urged to not stop in the DFW-area -- where gangs of cargo thieves are stealing trucks or everything in the trailer.

    Austin-based security company - Freight Watch International - warns drivers to avoid DFW if possible.

    "We consider Dallas to be one of the top three locations for cargo theft volume in the united states." says Dan Burges with Freight Watch International. "We have certain areas -- what we refer to as just red zones or no-stop areas -- and Dallas/Ft. Worth is definitely one of them.

    Freight Watch protects trucking companies using transponders to track high dollar shipments from a command center.

    "If it goes beyond that deviation an automatic alert is sent to the C-3 representative responsible for that shipment," Burges explains.

    A single stolen trailer can be a virtual lottery jackpot for thieves -- if it's filled with pricey electronics or prescription drugs.

    In some cases you're talking millions of dollars in one truck.

    "We've seen loads stolen in excess of $30 million," Burges says.

    Sometimes the thieves actually stakeout warehouses looking for trucks leaving the loading docks. They follow the trucks down the highway sometimes for a hundred miles or more. Then they wait until the truck driver pulls off at a gas station a truck stop or a restaurant.

    DFW is a prime target because they are so many highways and many retailers have large warehouse centers here. Companies can only fight back with more high-tech surveillance. Freight Watch recently directed Duncanville police right to a stolen trailer using one of their high-tech transponders.

    "They were in the process of unloading the merchandise when the officers pulled up on them." Officer Doug Sisk of Duncanville Police says. Sisk tells us the truck was filled with TVs.

    "It worked excellent - got the merchandise back and put some folks in jail," says Sisk.

    But, for drivers, it's a scary situation: rolling down the road with million-dollar targets on their backs.

    "They put a gun to your head and it's in this trailer - they want this trailer - what are you going to do - lose your life over this trailer?" driver Thomas Schnider says.