JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Don’t let thieves ruin your Thanksgiving holiday. CargoNet examined theft trends from Thanksgiving week for 2012 to 2016 and determined that 163 cargo and trucking vehicle thefts were recorded in this period. The good news is that, after 2012, CargoNet data showed that theft activity slowed significantly. Forty-five thefts were reported in 2012 compared with 31, 30, 26, and 31 in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively. Of the 163 cargo and trucking vehicle thefts reported in this analysis, 119 involved theft of cargo.

In the 2012–2016 analysis, which runs Tuesday to Monday for Thanksgiving week, 86 semi-tractors and 107 semi-trailers were stolen. The estimated loss value for stolen cargo was $8.85 million. On average, each cargo theft was worth $132,929.69. If we apply that average across all 119 cargo theft incidents, the total estimated loss value becomes $15.8 million.

Reported theft was highest on Wednesday, with 30 reported thefts. Nineteen thefts were confirmed to have happened on Thanksgiving Day. Thieves in Texas logged the most holiday working hours: 35 thefts were reported in Texas. In Texas, thieves were most active in Dallas (10 incidents) and other cities in the Dallas–Fort Worth area (8 incidents). CargoNet recorded 26 thefts in California. Thefts were most common in Los Angeles County (8 thefts) and San Bernardino County (7 thefts). Thefts were also recorded in Alameda, Kern, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Ventura Counties. Texas and California were followed by Florida (19 incidents), Georgia (12 incidents), and Ontario, Canada (10 incidents).

Perhaps surprisingly, no turkeys were reported stolen in this analysis, but cargo thieves did prefer stealing food and beverage items more than any other commodity, with 33 reported cargo thefts. Specifically, cargo thieves most often targeted alcoholic beverages as well as nonalcoholic beverages, such as soda and energy drinks. Thefts of electronics, metals, and household goods trailed with 15, 12, and 11 thefts, respectively. CargoNet recorded $3.3 million in stolen apparel and accessories freight, making this the costliest loss by commodity category.

Noteworthy thefts from previous Labor Day weekends

  1. $2,100,000 theft of apparel and accessories from a parking lot in Carson, California
  2. $447,000 theft of footwear from Houston, Texas
  3. $441,000 theft of apparel and accessories from a truck stop in Staunton, Virginia
  4. $414,255 theft of footwear from a secured yard in Kearny, New Jersey
  5. $319,150 theft of candy from an unsecured yard in Douglasville, Georgia

View the Thanksgiving Cargo Theft Trends Infographic and Security Tips