FreightWatch International is warning that we may be seeing a new trend of cargo thieves attempting to use jamming devices to defeat tracking devices.

On July 22, a tractor and trailer hauling pharmaceutical products was stolen from a truck stop in Cartersville, Georgia. The truck was equipped with at least one tracking device concealed within the cargo. Evidence suggests that the thieves attempted to deploy two separate jamming devices to interrupt the communication of possible tracking devices on the shipment. 

The jamming was unsuccessful and law enforcement was able to track the shipment and recover the product intact. There were no arrests, though the investigation continues.

FreightWatch notes that this incident follows closely on the heels of another, in which suspected cargo thieves were apprehended in possession of jamming equipment in Brevard County, Florida, on June 26.

"These two incidents may indicate the beginning of a trend in which cargo thieves are attempting to utilize jammer devices in the U.S. as a counter-measure to covert GPS tracking," says the company, which sells cargo security tools but also tracks and analyzes cargo thefts and trends.

"While the recent jamming events have not proven to be successful, the use of jamming technology represents a potential challenge to the theft recovery process and should be taken seriously," FreightWatch says.

"Outside the U.S., jamming technology has been used by cargo thieves for some time and there are effective risk mitigation techniques deployed in those regions. If the risk of jamming in the U.S. quickly escalates, security programs will need to evolve to address the increased risk in the regions affected."