According to police, the thieves stole rigs mostly at random, often not knowing what the cargo was. They would then alter the trucks' identification numbers and resell them at about 50% of their market value.
Tractor-trailer thefts are on the rise in the region. In 1993, 30 were stolen. Last year, the number was 135. Police discovered the theft ring while investigating the increase in stolen trucks. More than 120 police officers spent 10 months investigating the crimes. They have warrants for 18 more arrests.