Missing margarine truck found --- empty; thieves slip away

2011-12-21T07:00:00Z 2011-12-22T08:29:34Z Missing margarine truck found --- empty; thieves slip awayBy JEFF REINITZ, jeff.reinitz@wcfcourier.com Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

ELK RUN HEIGHTS, Iowa --- Sheriff's deputies have a fresh lead in the case of a stolen truckload of margarine.

Authorities have recovered the semi trailer in another state, but the margarine remains missing, and the thieves are still at large.

And investigators said the theft is just the buttery tip of the iceberg. Similar thefts have claimed other household merchandise.

"We have no idea who's taking these trailers. This is the fourth one that we've had taken from out in that area," said Capt. Rick Abben with the Black Hawk Sheriff's Office.

The margarine, worth $50,000, was headed for the Target Distribution Center in Cedar Falls. It was dropped off at an Elk Run Heights facility until its scheduled arrival time at in Cedar Falls.

The trailer was stolen Dec. 10.

On Thursday, the trailer was discovered more than 500 miles away in a restaurant parking lot off of Interstate 96 in Fowlerville, Mich.

Prior cargo thefts have included a trailer loaded with beef jerky. The trailer was found in Dubuque. There was also a load of dog food where the trailer was recovered in Michigan and a shipment of dental hygiene products that is still missing.

"Des Moines is getting hit hard with this type of stuff, too," Abben said. "We don't know if it's a local thing or a nationwide thing. Nationwide it's a real problem, costing millions and millions of dollars."

The National Insurance Crime Bureau, an Illinois-based non-profit organization, reports there were 747 reports of cargo theft in 2010 across the United States. In all about $171 million worth of goods were taken from trucks, trains and airplanes, according to the NICB's report, which was released in May. The report lists only two reported cargo thefts in Iowa in 2010, and those were located in the Quad City area.

NICB calls cargo theft a "low-risk crime with high-profit potential."

Nationally, truck stops, parking lots, warehouses and port cities were the most common crime scenes, the report states. Groups associated with organized crime look for trailers with electronics, sporting goods and prescription drugs. The merchandise is sold on the black market or through online auctions.

 

 

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(14) Comments

  1. joebobjim
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    joebobjim - December 28, 2011 12:46 pm
    DJ_hearts_JH said: "There are plenty of trailers in the Target lot other than Ruan, Dart, and Schneider. This trailer of margarine could have been a live unload and was simply waiting for its appointment since Target won't allow any over the road trailers to unload early."

    Well.. why didn't the driver just park on Hudson in front of the Target warehouse like every other driver who has to wait. I bet Target has security cameras that cover the road.
  2. nickipickle
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    nickipickle - December 23, 2011 11:54 am
    Forget why it was there I wont even act like I know anything about that.. I just wonder if the person who stole it knew there was butter in it.(I hope not cuz what would they want with it) That would be funny seeing ther face when they realized they stole a truck full of butter!!! lol
  3. LiberallyConservative
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    LiberallyConservative - December 22, 2011 11:08 am
    DJ_hearts_JH said: "You Dont know what you are talking about "

    I think I know a little more than you about the policies of warehouses...
  4. Brian B
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    Brian B - December 22, 2011 10:43 am
    Ever heard of a king pin lock??
  5. DJ_hearts_JH
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    DJ_hearts_JH - December 21, 2011 4:27 pm
    peterbilt387 said: "cause i think only ruan trailers and target trailers are allowed in that lot"

    There are plenty of trailers in the Target lot other than Ruan, Dart, and Schneider. This trailer of margarine could have been a live unload and was simply waiting for its appointment since Target won't allow any over the road trailers to unload early.
  6. DJ_hearts_JH
    Report Abuse
    DJ_hearts_JH - December 21, 2011 4:23 pm
    LiberallyConservative said: "I agree with Peterbilt, I know a thing or two about the Target DC's, and Ruan and Target are the only trucks allowed past security, any other trucks are immediately turned around, trust me, I know a thing or two about Target rules."

    You Dont know what you are talking about
  7. chatty1
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    chatty1 - December 21, 2011 2:12 pm
    supermop, they just backed a different tractor up to the trailer, hooked up and drove off.

    It would seem to me if this is SUCH big problem nationwide, they wouldn't use these drop lots that don't have security. Although, unless you're going to have somebody there checking to see if a driver is supposed to be taking a certain trailer, there's no way to stop it. A lot of these lots aren't used just for waiting until delivery. There's drivers that live in the area that need a place to leave the trailer while they're home on "home time" too. They can take their tractor home and put it in their driveway, but not the trailer.
  8. supermop
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    supermop - December 21, 2011 12:16 pm
    ALL THE COMMENTS SO FAR HAVE MISSED AN IMPORTANT POINT. IF THIS IS A NATIONAL TRUCKING FIRM, WHY DIDN'T THAT TRUCK HAVE THE LOCATOR DEVICE INSTALLED? IF IT DID HAVE ONE, WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG TO QUERY THE TRACTOR TO SEE WHERE IT WAS DRIVEN. HOWEVER, THE TRACTOR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ATTACHED WHEN TRAILER WAS STOLEN, SO THIS SUGGESTION WOULD NOT WORK.

    SORRY ABOUT THE CAPS
  9. LiberallyConservative
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    LiberallyConservative - December 21, 2011 11:14 am
    wiki said: "do you just make this stuff up?"

    I agree with Peterbilt, I know a thing or two about the Target DC's, and Ruan and Target are the only trucks allowed past security, any other trucks are immediately turned around, trust me, I know a thing or two about Target rules.
  10. peterbilt387
    Report Abuse
    peterbilt387 - December 21, 2011 11:00 am
    wiki said: "do you just make this stuff up?"

    notice the words i think also ive seen only ruan and target trailers on there droplot i thik all others live unload
  11. wiki
    Report Abuse
    wiki - December 21, 2011 10:09 am
    peterbilt387 said: "cause i think only ruan trailers and target trailers are allowed in that lot"



    do you just make this stuff up?
  12. rajung
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    rajung - December 21, 2011 9:35 am
    I don't think insurance company's should even cover this expense since it was left for the taking.
    Another reason premiums increase for all that DO! have insurance.
  13. peterbilt387
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    peterbilt387 - December 21, 2011 9:24 am
    cause i think only ruan trailers and target trailers are allowed in that lot
  14. tls
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    tls - December 21, 2011 8:16 am
    Why didn't they take the trailer and drop it off at Target and sit it there where there is security and a fence. They have plenty of room...
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