Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Less than 18% of the 326 cargo crimes reported to the TAPA EMEA Intelligence System (TIS) in May 2022 shared a value but losses for the month still exceeded €10.4 million or €337,285 a day as year-to-date indicators showed a surge in criminal attacks on facilities.

While attacks on trucks have dominated the supply chain security headlines in the last 4-5 years, the opening five months of 2022 has seen a significant month-over-month growth in cases of Theft from Facility:

  • January 2022 – 3 Theft from Facility crimes, 3.2% of the monthly total
  • February – 14 or 6.9%
  • March – 14 or 16.7%
  • April – 41 or 16.9%
  • May – 71 or 21.8%

Theft from Facility incidents accounted for most of the major cargo crimes (thefts with a value of €100K or more) last month and were recorded in 17 countries in the Europe, Middle East & Africa region. 34 or 48% of these incidents took place in Germany, while Italy and Russia both recorded 6, Belgium, France, and South Africa each saw 4, and Poland and Ukraine both reported 2 Theft from facility crimes. There were also single incidents in Austria, Croatia, Egypt, Moldova, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.  

In total, the 59 crime reports shared with TIS in May involved goods worth a total of €10,455,861, producing an average for all incidents with a value of €177,217. The average value of products stolen or targeted in the 15 major incidents exceeded€650,000.         

Major cargo thefts in May


On 2 May, miscellaneous goods were stolen from a facility in Melitopol in southeastern Ukraine. No further intelligence was reported. 


Thieves stole unspecified goods from a Destination Facility in Nasice, Croatia, on 14 May. 


On 13 May, a large shipment of cigarettes was stolen from a Maritime Transportation Facility in Albania. 


In Milan, Italy, on 26 May, a shipment of clothing & footwear was stolen from a vehicle parked at an Origin Facility.   


A large quantity of cash was stolen after thieves attacked a fuel depot in Harare, Zimbabwe, on 4 May.  


Fuel thefts once again featured in a high number of cargo crimes. The highest value of these incidents involved diesel stolen from an Origin Facility in South Africa’s Limpopo province on 7 May. 


Thieves also struck in Limpopo province on 13 May, stealing a cargo on unknown goods from a facility in Louis Trichardt. 


In the second major cargo loss in the Ukrainian city of Melitopol in May, 27 pieces of agricultural machinery were taken from a facility. The incident was reported on 8 May, 


Thieves stole a shipment of consumer electronics on 29 May from a warehouse in Satolas-et-Bonce in southeastern France.  


On 10 May, two offenders were arrested and charged with the alleged theft of consumer goods from truck parked at Gloucester Services on the M5 motorway in the UK. 


At the same service area in Brookthorpe, UK, on 4 May, thieves attempted to steal a shipment of chewing gum worth €118,295 from a parked truck.  

€114,000 – On 2 May, offenders gained access to an Origin Facility in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK, and stole a trailer worth €114,000 using fraudulent documentation.


A large shipment of unknown goods was stolen from a facility in Kortrijk, West Flanders, Belgium on 15 May.


Cargo thieves were also active in Teramo in Italy’s Abruzzo region on 3 May, stealing goods from a facility. No other information was reported. 


On 29 May, someone broke into a warehouse in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier in the Auvergne-Rhône Alpes region of France and stole a consignment of consumer goods. 

Although so specific loss values were reported, two other high value incidents in May included the thefts of an entire consignment of 3,000 cases of Shiraz and Chardonnay wines from a trailer in Bedfordshire in the UK on 14 May as well as the loss of hundreds of laptops worth ‘several hundred thousand euros’ after thieves accessed an Origin Facility in Hermeskeil, Germany, through the roof on 8 May.     

Four further cargo crimes reported losses in the €50,000-€100,000 value range in May, totalling €266,291. These were: 

  • €73,291 – In Arlandastad, Sweden, on 22 May, 228 mobile phones were stolen from a Destination Facility.  
  • €73,000 – On 6 May, four offenders robbed a cash-in-transit van in Windhoek, Namibia, before making their escape. 
  • €70,000 – Cargo thieves posing as police officers stole a truck loaded with consumer goods from a location in Roissy, France, on 29 May. 
  • €50,000 – On 4 May, suspects stole agricultural machinery after breaking into an Origin Facility warehouse in Plankstadt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, by unlocking the sliding gate. 

Of the 33 counties in EMEA recording cargo thefts in the 31 days of May, six accounted for over 83% of the monthly total:

  • United Kingdom – 93 incidents (28.6%)
  • Germany – 89 (27.3%)
  • France – 36 (11%) 
  • South Africa – 23 (7%)
  • Italy – 15 (4.6%)
  • Russia – 15 (4.6%) 

Spain also reported a double-digit incident rate, with 12 cargo crimes last month. 

Despite the rise in the number of Theft from Facility crimes, Theft from Vehicle still recorded nearly twice as many losses in May with 135 incidents, 41.5% of the monthly total. Theft from Trailer and Theft of Vehicle represented further 18.4%, with 60 cases. Origin Facility, Destination Facility and Services 3rd Party Facility were the locations of 163 criminal attacks in May, including the targeted of vehicles at these locations. 49 cargo thefts or attempted thefts took place in Unclassified Parking Locations. In May, TAPA EMEA was also notified of 24 crimes with the M.O. of Violent or Threat with Violence.      

Outside of the 169 reports in May in which the goods targeted were reported as either miscellaneous or unspecified, the TIS intelligence system recorded other losses in 20 product categories, including the top 10 of:

  • Fuel Theft – 64 (19.7%)
  • Metal – 20 (6.2%)
  • Food & Drink – 14 (4.3%)
  • No Load (Theft of truck and/or trailer) – 9 (2.8%)
  • Cash – 7 (2.1%)
  • Tools/Building Materials – 7 (2.1%)
  • Clothing & Footwear – 6 (1.8%)
  • Tobacco – 6 (1.8%)
  • Car Parts – 4 (1.2%)
  • Furniture/Household Appliances – 4 (1.2%)

TAPA EMEA’s decision to add a Fuel Theft category in its incident database once again helped to highlight this growing challenge for transport providers, boosted by record prices at the pumps. In May, as well as the major loss reported earlier in South Africa, TAPA EMEA recorded losses ranging from 100 to 80,000 litres of diesel from sites across the region. Such a disparity confirms the commonly-held view that rising fuel prices are encouraging both small-time thieves and Organised Crime Groups to be active. Germany saw a particularly high number of fuel theft crimes (41), including in Coswig, Temnitzquell, Plettenberg, Kalkhorst, Koblenz, Issum-Sevelen, Lobau, Wadersloh, Vellahn, Grunberg, Augustdorf, and Domsuhl.   

Fuel thefts were also reported in Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.  In France, a fuel tanker truck driver was arrested for stealing fuel from his load in Lyon on 3 May.

Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries
Losses exceed €. 10.4 mio in 31 days in 33 countries