All That's Trucking

Gone in 30 Seconds

October 25, 2010

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Remember the movie "Gone in Sixty Seconds," where Nicolas Cage is a retired master car thief who has to steal 50 cars in one night to save his brother's life? Last night, CBS Evening News viewers got to watch a heavy-duty truck get stolen in less than 30 seconds.
And it's not a life at stake here, but an industry plague: cargo theft.

In "Inside the World of Cargo Hijacking," Armen Keteyian offers an inside look into the criminal world of cargo theft. Although the term "hijacking" is often used to mean stealing a truck while the driver is in it, often at gunpoint, this piece focuses on trucks and cargo made off with while the trucker is temporarily away from the rig, taking a shower or getting a cup of coffee.

Particularly disturbing is the truck driver CBS interviews, with his face darkened and voice altered, who has a real-life job as a legitimate truck driver -- but makes his real money doing the "dirty work."

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"As the economy inches toward recovery, a lot of businesses are still struggling to keep up," said anchor Katie Couric in introducing the piece. "But an illegal industry is doing better than ever: cargo theft. Losses from these robberies add up to as much as $37 billion a year in the U.S. -- forcing all of us to pay more for everything from computers to medicine to sneakers."

This is nothing new to the trucking industry, of course, but it's good to see the mainstream media give it some much-needed attention. As David Wallace, a retired Dallas Police Department detective who's familiar with cargo theft, tells CBS, "a stolen 18-wheeler with a load of property on it "is the same thing as stealing your 1963 Volkswagen."

Read more and watch the video on CBS News' website.

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Author Bio

Deborah Lockridge

Editor in Chief

All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.

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