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Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 11:13am

Truck Cargo Theft Growing in Georgia

The recent theft of almost $9-million worth of cargo from a tractor-trailer in west Georgia highlights a growing problem for state authorities.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says this state is one of the top targets nationwide for cargo thieves. One reason is Georgia’s label as a transportation hub for the southeast.

The most recent cargo theft was last Friday in Haralson County. A truck loaded with pharmaceutical drugs including blood thinners and cold medicine was swiped while its driver was inside an I-20 truck stop in Temple, Ga.

The GBI says organized groups are behind the thefts, aiming for high-end cargo they can re-sell later.

Georgia trucking companies are worried. Mike Clay with Kennesaw Transportation based near Cartersville says truck stops are a breeding ground for illegal activity:

"A lot of prostitution goes on, a lot of drugs being sold, a lot of theft. We have particular truck stops that we do not allow our drivers to actually go into. You know when you pull up onto the property there’s nothing but problems in that truck stop."

In January, a new GBI division dedicated exclusively to cargo theft went into operation. 20 arrests have been made so far, with almost $4-million of property recovered.

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