January 26, 2012
Cargo theft is a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry and a growing threat to the economy and national security of the United States.
Mollie Halpern: Cargo theft is a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry and a growing threat to the economy and national security of the United States.
I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau, and this is FBI, This Week. The FBI has seven cargo task forces across the country to combat the problem. Special Agent Conrad Straube, coordinator for the Memphis Cargo Task Force, says there are many victims of cargo theft.
Straube: When you think about victims and who’s truly a victim of cargo theft, we like to think about the consumers. When things are stolen, eventually the effect of that is prices are going to go up on products. Whether shoes are stolen, pharmaceuticals are stolen, tires are stolen—somebody has to end up paying for that.
Halpern: Cargo is stolen from tractor-trailers, rail cars, ships, planes, and even directly from warehouses. The goods are sometimes sold on the Internet.
Straube: The new thing is now, taking products and actually trying to sell them online. Thieves think that if they try to avoid moving things within their hometown or wherever they stole it, that they’re not going to get caught.
Halpern: To find out how the FBI is working with the private sector to combat cargo theft, visit www.fbi.gov.