New Year Crimewave

Cargo thieves welcomed in 2023 with a 31-day ‘crimewave’ which saw the TAPA EMEA Intelligence System (TIS) receive reports of losses from supply chains in 33 countries across the Europe, Middle East & Africa region, causing over €8,608,459 of losses.  

This €277,600 a day loss rate was based on 32.4% or 177 of these recorded crimes including a product loss value. The overall financial loss for the first month of 2023 included 20 major crimes with a value of €100,000 or more, which, alone, contributed €6,483,657 to the overall monthly loss total or an average of €324,182 per incident. 

The biggest single cargo theft reported to TIS in January took place in Saarland, Germany , on 13 January and involved an armed robbery of a cash-in-transit van. The attackers escaped with a reported €2,000,000.   

Overall, TIS has so far recorded 546 new cargo thefts in January 2023. Alongside the 20 major losses, a further 9 crimes in the €50K-€100K loss value category, accounted for €635,104 of the monthly total or an average of €70,567.   

TIS captured intelligence on cargo thefts involving 16 known product categories last month, although in 65.2% of crimes the specific type of goods was not identifiable. Fuel remained a prime target for thieves, disrupting supply chains following thefts from vehicles in 12 countries in EMEA in January. Fuel thieves were active in:

  • Belgium
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom 

The top five countries recording cargo thefts in the TIS database in January were: 

Germany – 169 Incidents

Germany accounted for 31% or 169 of all the cargo thefts reported to TAPA EMEA in January with a combined recorded loss for the 31 days of the month of €2,681,609 or an average loss value of €47,885 for the 56 incidents reporting the value of the goods stolen. 

Three of January’s major losses took place in Germany with, totalling €2,208,000.

These were:

  • 2,000,000 – the previously referenced robbery of a CIT security van while en route in the town of Saarlouis, Saarland, on 13 January. 
  • €108,000 – the theft of a vehicle and unknown cargo in Leipzig, Saxony, on 10 January. 
  • €100,000 – the loss of three trailers from an Authorised 3rd Party Facility in Lower Saxony on 24 January. 

Germany also recorded one loss of between 50K-100K – a loss of electronic goods valued at €50,000 from trucks at an unclassified parking location on 29 January in the Lower Saxony region. 

Sweden – 67 incidents

After recording only 3 cargo thefts in the previous month, Sweden became one of the top 5 countries for recorded incidents in January with 67 crimes added to the TAPA EMEA database. 

Only one of these cargo crimes in January shared a loss value, which Vigilant is unable to report, but the types of crimes seen over the month were dominated by cases of Theft from Vehicle incidents, which were seen in 92.5% of all crimes reported in Sweden to TAPA EMEA last month.  

Italy – 64 incidents

Supply chains in Italy suffered the third highest rate of reported incidents for a second consecutive month. The 64 cargo crimes reported to TIS in January included 34 with a loss value and five major crimes:

  • €1,500,000 – 55,000 units of cosmetics and hygiene products stolen from an Origin Facility in Ripalta Cremasca, Lombardy, on 29 January. Five suspects were later arrested.  
  • €315,000 – 9,000 bottles of wine taken from an Authorised 3rd Party Facility in Veneto on 23 January.
  • €300,000 – unknown cargo stolen from a facility in Moncalieri in Piedmont on 3 January. 
  • €190,000 – thieves stole a shipment of tools from an Origin Facility in Colleredo di Monte Albano on 4 January. 
  • €100,000 – police made three arrests after designer clothing, tablets and electronics were stolen in a last mile delivery crime in Milan on 24 January.

Other losses last month included a robbery of €80,000 of cash from a Destination Facility in Borghi, Emilia-Romagna, and the loss of €51,000 in cash following an armed attacked by offender on an Origin Facility in Maddaloni, Campania.   

The total combined loss for the 34 incidents with a value was €2,873,992 or an average of €87,090 per loss. 

United Kingdom – 54 Incidents 

Unusually, TAPA EMEA did not receive reports of any major cargo thefts in the United Kingdom in January. The 54 incidents recorded last month across the country included 21 sharing a loss value, which totalled 251,152 or an average of 12,557. 

For the second consecutive month, the UK region with the most incidents was the West Midlands, which accounted for 37% of cargo thefts reported to TIS, while 48 or 88.9% of all reported thefts involved vehicles. 

France – 49 incidents 

France recorded the fifth highest number of new cargo crimes in TAPA EMEA’s incident database last month, with a total of 49 losses reported from supply chains. 

Six of January’s major thefts in EMEA took place in France, producing a total for these incidents of nearly €900,000. Major crimes included:

  • €150,000 – the thefts of two vehicles and six tons of copper reels from an Origin Facility in Mouroux, Île-de-France, on 21 January.
  • €150,000 – the loss of 3,000 bottles of perfume from an Origin Facility warehouse in Grand-Quevilly, Normandy, on 8 January.  

The four crimes reported to TIS in France with a value of between 50K-100K included the theft of a truck loaded with filming equipment worth €80,000, stolen on 18 January, in Montpellier. The vehicle was later recovered two suspects were arrested.

A further 143 cargo thefts were recorded in 28 countries in EMEA is January, including six major incidents. Vigilant is unable to report two of these crimes, which occurred in Spain, but the others involved…

  • Two losses in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 14 & 18 January with loss values of €146,000 and €135,000. In the second of these incidents, thieves stole 660 robotic vacuum cleaners from a truck while its driver was taking a sleep break in his cab at a fuel station.
  • €130,000 – the theft of unspecified goods with the M.O. of Internal. This crime on 2 January was recorded in Ras al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates.
  • €114,960 – another loss with an Internal M.O, this crime on 25 January was reported in Koledino, Moscow Obast, Russia. The goods targeted are not know. 

January actually saw a higher than usual number of cargo theft incidents featuring Internal as the recorded modus operandi. Other such incidents were notified to TIS in Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Poland and Romania. 

In the Netherlands, the highest reported loss in January was the theft of €63,000 of designer shoes and clothing from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Etten-Leur, North Brabant, on 11 January. 

Possibly the most unusual cargo crime in January – and potentially one of the highest value had it recorded a loss figure – was the theft of chess pieces encrusted with sapphires and rubies and covered in gold, stolen from an Origin Facility warehouse in the city of Hradec Kralove in the Czech Republic. 

If you have cargo crime intelligence to share with TAPA EMEA, please send it to

New Year Crimewave
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New Year Crimewave
New Year Crimewave