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Cargo Theft Numbers Show Downward Trend in Metal Heists

July 27, 2012

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The value of cargo thefts in the second quarter dropped, according to FreightWatch International, with a drop in the number of metal thefts.


FreightWatch recorded 210 thefts during the quarter, an average of 70 thefts per month. The average value of thefts in the second quarter was $147,440, a 29% decrease in average value from the first quarter.

In order to more accurately reflect trends of targeted products and reduce cargo categorized as Miscellaneous, FreightWatch added three new product categories.

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Cosmetics/Personal Care is a new category that classifies non-medical personal hygiene and beauty products used by consumers, including makeup and toothpaste. Jewelry/Accessories encompasses products like jewelry and handbags. The Metals category was added as its own product category separate from the Building/Industrial category.

In addition, a new sub-category, Luxury Goods, is used under the Clothing/Shoes and Jewelry/Accessories categories as a way to identify high-value and brand-name products.

Food/Drinks was the most-stolen product category in the second quarter, followed by Home/Garden.

The Building/Industrial category was the most stolen category in the first quarter. However, its percentage decreased significantly in Q2 due to metal products being classified in their own category. As a combined unit, the Building/Industrial and Metals categories would be the second most stolen product category in Q2, at 17% of total products stolen.

Despite the recent trend of increasing thefts of metals, metal thefts decreased considerably from Q1 to Q2, note FreightWatch analysts. The price of metal decreased in the last quarter, which likely affected the theft of metals. It is also possible that companies have responded to increased metal theft with heightened security, they explain.

The full report is available, free with registration, here.

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