May 5, 2016

Statistics on 2014 Cargo Thefts Released

Today, the FBI released its second annual compilation of cargo theft data reported through its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. This latest release—which contains data from 2014—reveals that 547 incidents of cargo theft were reported to law enforcement during the year. The stolen cargo was worth more than $32.5 million.

Why does the FBI collect this data? Because cargo theft can have a significant impact on the U.S. economy and because it’s often described as a gateway crime that can lead to broader investigations in areas like organized crime, drug trafficking, health care fraud, terrorism, etc. Also, the USA Patriot Improvement and Re-Authorization Act of 2005 passed by Congress contained a mandate to “take the necessary steps to ensure that reports of cargo theft collected by federal, state, and local officials are reflected as a separate category in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system.”

Participation in the UCR Program is voluntary, and in 2014, a total of 29 states submitted cargo theft data to the FBI, up from seven states in 2013. The Bureau expects participation to increase further as states implement technical changes within their systems, align state and local policies with federal requirements, and provide education and training to participants.

Cargo theft data reported to the FBI will eventually be incorporated into UCR’s annual Crime in the United States and National Incident-Based Reporting System publications.