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Alert: Knoxville Cargo Theft Incident & Recovery

Event  Cargo Theft Incident & Recovery

Location  Knoxville, TN

Description  On August 3, 2021, a tractor and 53’ trailer were stolen from a truck stop in Meadowview, VA while left unattended during a DOT break. The tractor was located later that night in Kingsport, TN; however, there were no signs of the trailer and cargo until the Sensitech GPS device embedded in the trailer provided an updated location in Knoxville, TN.

Through coordinated efforts with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Sensitech® Emergency Response Team, the stolen trailer was found at a local truck stop, leading to the successful recovery of the cargo, with a very high product and resale value.

Criminal M.O.  It is inferred that the theft was carried out by an organized criminal group with the following modus operandi:

  • Loads are targeted while unattended.
  • The trailer is unhooked, and the tractor is abandoned first.
  • A second stolen tractor is used to transport the stolen trailer once unhooked.
  • The trailer logos and identifying numbers are painted over.
  • The trailer is staged at an inconspicuous location awaiting potential recovery responses facilitated by tracking devices.
  • Truck stops are used both to identify potential targets and to stage stolen loads.
  • The criminal group operates within an area of at least a 144-mi radius of the theft location.
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