€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days

2022 ended with an average of nearly 20 cargo theft incidents per day recorded by the TAPA EMEA Intelligence System (TIS) in December in 28 countries across Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and product losses of more than €17 million in 31 days.

The 618 cargo crime reports to the Association’s intelligence database included 24 major incidents involving goods worth €100.000 or more. These highest value thefts were reported in 10 countries and produced an average loss per crime of €535.847.

The biggest single reported crime in December was reported in Vojvodinci in Serbia on 5 December, after a truck driver was involved in the theft of unspecified goods valued at €5.535.000.

Of the 618 cargo thefts recorded by TIS in December, 292 or 47.2% shared a value for the goods which were stolen. These produced an overall loss for the month of €17.086.045 and an average for crimes with a value of €58.513. €1.011.052 of this total was attributed to the 15 reported crimes with loss values of between €50K-€100K.

Diesel remains a prime target for cargo theves

TIS captured intelligence on cargo thefts impacting 16 product categories, although in 411 or 66.5% of crimes the specific type of goods was not identifiable. Diesel remained a prime target with 84 recorded thefts in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Three other TIS product categories saw double-digit loss rates; no load (theft of truck and/or trailer) with 40 theft reports, Metal (24) and Cash (10).

The top 5 countries for recorded cargo thefts in December were:


TIS received reports of 208 cargo thefts in Germany in the 31 days of December and a loss value of €3,032,119 for the 98 of these crimes sharing financial data, averaging €30,939. 

Nine of December’s major crimes took place in Germany, each with an average loss of €197,728.

The highest-value losses included: 

  • €250.000 – the theft of a vehicle with no load from an Unclassified Parking Location in Hesse on 6 December.
  • €200.000 – copper cables stolen from an Origin Facility in Lampertheim, Hesse, on 19 December. 
  • €150.000 – Machinery and tools taken from a truck parked at a Road Transportation Facility in Ganderkesee, Lower Saxony, on 30 December.
  • €100.000 – a shipment of dietary supplements taken from a trailer after offenders cut the vehicle’s tarpaulin curtain in Hainichen, Saxony, on 12 December.

Four of the losses valued at €50K-€100K also took place in Germany, all thefts of miscellaneous goods. 

Stolen goods in the miscellaneous loss category in Germany included:

  • €25.000 of fireworks stolen from a Destination Facility in Nordhorn, Lower Saxony.
  • 80 truck tyres taken from a vehicle in an Unclassified Parking Location in Hainichen, Saxony.
  • E-cycles stolen from an Origin Facility in Loesfeld, North Rhine-Westphalia.
  • Televisions taken from a truck in an unsecured parking place on the A14 in Grimma, Saxony.
  • 2 tonnes of copper stolen from an Origin Facility in Leipzig, Saxony, another of the 15 metal thefts in Germany in December.
  • 12 tonnes of metal removed from an Origin Facility in Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia.
  • 30 bicycles stolen from a truck left in an Unclassified Parking Location in Porta Westfalica, North Rhine-Westphalia.
  • Perfumes valued at ‘tens of thousands of euros’ taken from a truck parked near the A13 in Radeburg Meissen, Saxony.
  • Another theft of metal after thieves smashed a hole in a concrete wall of an Origin Facility in Willich, North Rhine-Westphalia. 

Germany accounted for over 75% of all fuel thefts recorded by TIS in the EMEA region in the final month of 2022. Losses of a few hundred to 2,000 litres of diesel were reported from vehicles in Baden-Würtemberg, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, and Thuringia.         


The UK recorded only a single major cargo theft in December, the €600.000 loss of unspecified goods from a vehicle in Greater London on 7 December. Overall, 42 or 41.5% of all recorded crimes targeting supply chains in the UK reported a value, totalling €1.337.831 or an average for these incidents of €31.853. 

The West Midlands was the region which saw the highest level of criminal activity with 52 incidents over the month, including the theft of alloy wheels and truck tyres from an Origin Facility in Exhall. Other crimes Vigilant is authorised to report include two crimes in the South East; the thefts of high value bicycles from an Authorised 3rd Party Facility in Milford, and the loss of a shipment of catalytic converters from a truck parked on an industrial estate in Upper Beeding. 


TAPA EMEA’s TIS database received reports of 83 cargo thefts in Italy in December with a combined loss of €1.163.702 – or an average of €20.780 – for the 56 or 46.5% of crimes stating a value. Only one major loss of €100K or more was identified during the month, the theft of video cameras and digital equipment worth €400.000 from a truck parked at an Authorised 3rd Party Facility in Castelguglielmo, Veneto, on 7 December.

Other incidents in December included:

  • A theft of phones after a carton weighing 6kg went missing from a package while it was in transit. Initially, it looked as though the pallet had not been manipulated, but on closer inspection, investigators identified an angled cut on the pallet, revealing that the carton had been stolen and the pallet then wrapped again with film. The anti-tamper seal was  intact, the intelligence report stated.
  • Offenders posed as couriers to steal gold and silver plated statues from an Origin Facility in Castelfidardo, Marche. The stolen statues were later recovered. 
  • 13.000 litres of diesel was stolen by an employee working at a facility in Venice on 14 December and, six days later, TIS also recorded a loss of 5.000 litres of fuel from an Origin Facility in San Felice sul Panaro, Emilia-Romagna. 
  • Police arrested 3 suspects carrying firearms during the robbery of an Authorised 3rd Party Facility in Belpasso, Siciliy.


Vigilant is unable to report the four major cargo thefts in Spain in December, other than to confirm their combined loss of €588.459.

In total, 43 or 57.3% of crimes reported during the month shared a financial value, and these totalled   €1.100.320 or an average of €25.588. The highest value loss Vigilant is authorised to share was the €12.000 theft of truck tyres from an Origin Facility in Alcantarilla, Murcia, on the first day of the month. One of the most significant financial losses – had it shared a value – would have been the thefts of two trucks in Ciudad Real, Castilla-La Mancha, on 11 December. One of the vehicles was loaded with 24 tonnes of oil, and the other had a cargo of 23 tonnes of rum. 


The four major cargo crimes in France included a €400.000 theft of vaccines electronics and luxury items, reported in Île-de-France on 8 December.

According to the incident report, thieves posing an police officers were able to stop and intercept the truck carrying the cargo in Seine-Saint Denis. Overall, the 30 cargo losses with a value produced a combined total of €1.925.031 or an average of €64.167. 

Crimes reported to TAPA EMEA also included the theft of a shipment of champagne on 6 December after thieves cut the tarpaulin curtain of a truck parked overnight in Laon, Hauts-de-France. TIS also recorded a case of fuel being siphoned from six trucks at an Origin Facility in Normandy. 

On a more positive note, police officers were able to carry out a series of arrests of individuals suspected of cargo thefts:

  • 4 offenders arrested for the thefts of catalytic converters from an Origin Facility in Nantes.
  • 3 suspects detained after trying to steal metal from an Origin Facility in Saint-Jean-Saint-Germain.
  • An offender was arrested in connection with nine metal thefts in Orne, Normandy.
  • Officers caught a man in the process of siphoning fuel from a truck in Seine-Saint Denis.  

€8.5m of losses in countries outside the top 5

Five of the cargo thefts of €100.000 or more took place in countries outside of the top 5 nations for the most recorded incidents in December. These accounted for €8.166.683 of the overall December loss total.    

The second highest loss during the month involved the violent hijacking of a truck carrying catalytic converters on the M17 in Markman on South Africa’s Eastern Cape. A pick-up truck stopped in front of the targeted truck, forcing the driver to stop. Two suspects jumped out and pointed firearms at the truck driver before stealing the vehicle and its load. The truck was later recovered but the cargo had disappeared. 

Vigilant can also report two other major cargo crimes…

  • €150.276 – on 2 December, TIS recorded a case of fraud with the M.O. of Internal, involving the theft of unknown goods which were en route in Haliliye, Turkey.
  • €150.000 – Unspecified goods were also stolen on 7 December after thieves targeted an Origin Facility in Nabatiye in Southern Lebanon. 

26 crimes outside of the top 5 countries recorded a value, totalling €8.537.389 or an average of €328.361. 

Other incidents included:

  • Two security guards were wounded in another attack on a cash-in-transit truck in South Africa, this time in Johannesburg on 4 December.  
  • An attempted thefts of pharmaceuticals after offenders tried to force open the doors of a truck in Sweden’s Skane County on 5 December.
  • The theft of nine pallets of clothing and footwear from a trailer at an Unclassified Parking Location in Menen, West Flanders, Belgium, on 6 December.
  • An armed gang targeted a cash-in-transit van in Hazyview in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province on 15 December, opening fire on police officers before using explosives to blow open the security van.

TAPA EMEA members can search for more intelligence on these cargo crimes and other incidents in the TIS database using their MyTAPA login.

€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days
€17 Million Stolen in 31 Days