NATIONAL COMMERCIAL VEHICLE AND CARGO THEFT PREVENTION INITIATIVE
Adopted February 17, 2005
Revised and readopted June 14, 2016
The following is a call for the adoption of a National Cargo Theft Prevention Initiatve by the federal government, in cooperation with private industry and state and local governments in order to combat the clear and present continued threat posed by cargo theft perpetrators to the economy, the wellbeing and the national security of the United States of America.
The call for a national strategy was first approved at the 2005 Cargo Theft Summit in Tallahassee, Florida, and subsequently reaffirmed at the 2006 Summit which was attended by over 200 representatives of the commercial trucking, insurance, cargo security industries, shippers and manufacturers, together with representatives from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. In November 2006 over 100 law enforcement, insurance and trucking industry representatives met in Orlando, FL by invitation of the Florida Statewide Cargo Theft Task Force and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (N.I.C.B.) to discuss the creation of a National Commercial Vehicle and Cargo Theft Task Force (N.C.C.T.T.F.). The following national initiative was unanimously approved by the N.I.C.B. conference members.
In 2008, the National Strategy was formally adopted by the Western States Cargo Theft Association at its conference. Also, in 2008 the National Strategy was amended and reaffirmed at the National Cargo Security Summit, which was attended by over 160 representatives of the trucking, law enforcement, and insurance industries in Safety Harbor, Florida.
In 2009, the National Strategy was formally adopted by the National Retail Theft Federation. Also, in 2009 the National Strategy was amended and reaffirmed at the National Cargo Summit, which was attended by over 180 representatives of the trucking, law enforcement, and insurance industries in Arlington, Virginia.
In 2010, the National Strategy was again reaffirmed at the National Cargo Theft Summit which was attended by over 200 representatives from the trucking, law enforcement, and insurance industries in Washington, D.C.
In 2011, the National Strategy was again reaffirmed at the Midwest and National Cargo Theft Summit which was attended by over 175 representatives from the trucking, Manufacturing, law enforcement, and insurance industries in Addison, Illinois.
In 2013, the National Strategy was once again reaffirmed and Co-chair Joe Wehrle was affirmed as Chair at the Midwest and National Cargo Theft Summit which was attended by over 200 representatives from the trucking, Manufacturing, law enforcement, and insurance industries in Addison, Illinois.
In 2014, the National Strategy was once again reaffirmed at the National Cargo Theft Summit in Atlanta, Georgia which was attended by over 250 representatives from the trucking, manufacturing, security, and insurance industries and law enforcement agencies federal, state and local.
In 2015, the National Strategy was reaffirmed at the National Cargo Theft Summit in Memphis, Tennessee which was attended by over 240 representatives from the trucking, manufacturing, security, and insurance industries and law enforcement agencies federal, state and local.
In 2016 the National Strategy was reaffirmed at the National Cargo Theft Summit in Addison, Illinois which was attended by over 220 representatives from the trucking, manufacturing, security, and insurance industries and law enforcement agencies federal, state and local.
Cargo Theft is a nationwide issue with a significant economic impact on the U.S. economy and its national security. Cargo crime accounts for an estimated direct merchandise loss of 10 to 25 billion dollars per year in the United States.
The creation of the Cargo Theft U.C.R. code has been implemented by the FBI. The FBI is reaching out to state U.C.R programs and law enforcement agencies to identify obstacles to reporting valid cargo theft data. It is imperative that the FBI collect this U.C.R. data from each state and US Territory.
This National Cargo Theft Prevention Initiative addresses the need for task force structuring and funding, a national threat assessment, and a nationwide cargo theft information and intelligence sharing system.
The National Strategy recommends that the US Congress begin hearings concerning the issue of cargo theft and its threat to the economy and security interests of the United States, and that Congress adopt legislation implementing the recommendations set forth in the National Strategy.
The National Strategy also recommends the adoption and implementation of a multi-level public awareness campaign designed to increase the understanding of the threat cargo theft poses to the nation’s economy and to the public safety and health.
TASK FORCE STRUCTURE AND FUNDING
There is a need for the continuation of the a National Cargo Theft Prevention Task Force which is be made up of law enforcement and private industry representatives whose purpose and mission is be to coordinate the implementation of the National Initiative throughout the United States.
Additionally, existing cargo theft task forces must be united and new cargo theft task forces should be created in several key states and coordinated by federal partners to assure a nationwide group of interconnected state cargo theft task forces. Sufficient funding should be made available to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to encourage meaningful participation and active efforts in reducing cargo theft by all agencies involved. Best practices used to combat cargo theft and apprehend cargo theft criminals need to be shared among law enforcement agencies.
The national strategy should be fully implemented to:
Define the federal government’s responsibility for the prevention of cargo theft and the apprehension of cargo thieves, including the specific federal agencies responsible for investigation, intelligence gathering, interagency cooperation, the resources necessary for state and local agency participation, and the essential intergovernmental data sharing mechanisms.
Develop a multi-agency cargo theft prevention task force in other key states.
Connect existing cargo theft task forces.
Create regional and multi-state operational plans designed to interrupt, apprehend and dismantle cargo theft organizations and their operatives.
Design and fund a system for law enforcement intelligence and information sharing concerning cargo thefts and cargo theft suspects on a national, regional and statewide basis.
Provide the funding necessary for (1) the overtime incurred by agencies in connection with cargo theft work, and (2) the purchase of necessary equipment for state and local law enforcement agencies involved in the cargo theft task force work.
Include provisions for longer sentences for those convicted of cargo theft.
Encourage broader public awareness of the dangers to public health related to the theft of consumable products.
It is imperative that a nationwide threat assessment be conducted to quantify the problem of cargo theft and security from both an economic and a Homeland Security standpoint. An econometric study will establish the financial loss to our nation’s economy as a result of cargo theft.
Arrests of foreign national gang members who are involved in cargo theft, including members of Mara Salvatrucha (MS 13), further demonstrates the linkage of illegal drug smuggling, human trafficking and cargo theft. The threat these groups pose to national security is great and cannot be ignored.
INTELLIGENCE AND INFORMATION SHARING
A critical component of a National Strategy for Cargo Theft is the need for an effective intelligence gathering and information sharing system. Generally, only regional systems exist to share law enforcement information relating to the theft of a commercial vehicle in a timely manner. In most instances a commercial vehicle is recovered with all of the contents stolen, before the information about the theft is communicated to law enforcement agencies. There is a critical need for timely cargo theft information being made available to all law enforcement agencies.
There is also a need for a national law enforcement intelligence database to store information relating to cargo thieves that can be readily accessed by investigators assigned to investigate cargo theft crimes. Many times the subjects caught in the act of committing the theft of a commercial vehicle are found to have a criminal history involving other cargo or commercial vehicle thefts.
In support of the National Strategy the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Insurance Services Office have partnered to design a National Cargo Network, CargoNetTM, connecting existing cargo theft related systems together with the primary focus of recovering stolen cargo and apprehending criminals.
Without nationwide intelligence gathering and timely dissemination it is impossible to develop an accurate assessment of the complete scope of the cargo theft problem.
The consuming public, the federal, state, and local law enforcement community and federal, state and local government agencies need to be made more aware of the threat cargo theft poses to the countries economic well being, to public health and safety and to the transportation security of America.
A specific public awareness strategy needs to be designed and adopted to accomplish a better understanding as to how cargo theft undermines the American way of life. The public awareness strategy should be a multi-media campaign and it should be comprehensive in its scope. The public awareness strategy needs to be implemented on the local, state, and national levels.
Cargo theft is a nationwide problem that can only be addressed through a National Cargo Theft Prevention Initiative utilizing task forces comprised of local, state and federal resources and with a robust public awareness campaign. A national strategy combined with an industry partnership can produce significant results in reducing the impact this crime has on our country and its national security. The creation of a National Commercial Vehicle and Cargo Theft Task Force to oversee the implementation of the National Cargo Theft Prevention Initiative is a great step forward in the war against cargo thieves. The implementation of the National Strategy is imperative.