Cargo thefts at unsecured parking locations in the EMEA region accounted for 173 or 85.1% of incidents reported to TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) in November.


The urgent need for a network of secure parking places in Europe isn’t news anymore because so much has been said and written on the subject in recent years without there being any noticeable improvement. In fact, cargo crimes at unsecured parking places in the EMEA region continue to dominate newly-recorded freight thefts in the Association’s Incident Information Service (IIS) database.

In 2018, to have any hope of reducing the level of cargo losses in the region, those words must be replaced with action and as the world’s leading Supply Chain Security Experts network, TAPA is leading the charge with the introduction of its new Parking Security Requirements (PSR). With the required background infrastructure now in place to support the new Standard, it will be the subject of a proactive sales and marketing campaign to bring Parking Place Operators onboard in Europe.

Every TAPA EMEA Manufacturer and Logistics Service Provider member stands to benefit if the Association is successful in creating a robust network of TAPA-certified parking sites – but this isn’t going to happen overnight. It will, however, progress at a much faster rate if members actively get involved. This is a topic we will return to in the January 2018 issue of Vigilant.

The facts speak for themselves; attacks on vehicles in unsecured parking locations now present the greatest risk to high value, theft targeted cargoes as well as to drivers and their vehicles. Crimes notified to TAPA’s IIS and reported in previous issues of Vigilant in the first 11 months of 2017 show:

  • January – 98 incidents at unsecured parking locations, 64.9% of the monthly total
  • February – 168 incidents or 72.8%
  • March – 114 incidents or 72.2%
  • April – 154 or 77.8%
  • May – 160 or 75.5%
  • June – 140 or 75.4%
  • July – 130 or 73.4%
  • August – 109 or 75.7%
  • September – 126 or 76.3%
  • October – 185 or 75.1%
  • November – 173 or 85.1%

The latest recorded cargo crime intelligence for November 2017 shows that the two countries with the highest reported incident rates – the United Kingdom and Germany – accounted for 89.1% of the monthly total or a combined 181 incidents. In the UK, 125 or 93.9% of these crimes took place when trucks stopped in unsecured parking locations. In Germany, the figure was 83.3%.

Overall, for the month, there were 173 cargo crimes committed in unsecured parking locations in EMEA, 85.1% of all incidents reported to the IIS database in November, a rate of 5-6 new attacks on trucks every day. It is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue without some co-ordinated effort to find safe places for trucks to stop.

On 11 November, IIS was notified of curtain-cutting attacks on 110 trucks at parking sites in Bavaria. A further 20 trucks were targeted at the Fläming East & West service areas in Niemegk, Brandenburg, in Germany on 5 November.

November 2017’s overall data is influenced by the fact that no data was available from Dutch law enforcement as Vigilant went to press. Consequently, the 203 newly-reported cargo crimes in EMEA for last month show a 12.1% reduction in incidents year-on-year. However, bearing in mind there were 78 cargo crimes in the Netherlands in November 2016, the final figure for November 2017 will almost certainly show an upward trend once the Dutch data is added into the IIS database.

Of the 203 incidents, 156 or 76.8% reported a value, producing a combined loss total of €5,292,619. The average loss for crimes with a value in November was €33,927.   

Overall, TAPA recorded incidents in 12 countries in the EMEA region during the month. Aside from the UK and Germany, no other countries reported a double-digit rate of incidents. France was the country with the third highest number of crimes, 7 or 3.4% of the total, ahead of four in South Africa.

Nine major losses with a value of €100,000 or more were notified to the Association in November with a total value of €1,570,694 or an average of €174,521. The major incidents were:


The theft of Clothing & Footwear in Barking, UK, on 6 November after thieves cut open the curtain side of a parked and attended truck.


Perfumes were stolen on 20 November when offenders targeted a parked and attended truck and semi-trailer in an unsecured parking location in Gravesend, Kent, in the UK.


Thieves entered a transport yard through a back fence and removed Clothing & Footwear from loaded trailers that were ready to make deliveries the following day. This incident on 5 November occurred at a Services 3rd Party Facility in Greater London.  


This Theft of Trailer crime in Widnes, Cheshire, in the UK on 11 November saw thieves force their way into a secured transport yard in order to steal two trailers loaded with alcohol and household products. 


In San Fernando de Henares, Spain, this incident began when a driver unhooked his trailer loaded with miscellaneous products and left it overnight on a public street. The trailer was later discovered inside a warehouse where its load was being transferred into a van. Guardia Civil are reported to have arrested the offenders following a shoot-out on 12 November.  


Fraud was used in this Deceptive Pick-up on 4 November, which saw a driver arrive with a tractor unit at an Origin Facility in Heywood, Greater Manchester, UK, and use false documentation in order to steal a trailer loaded with whisky. 


Thieves unscrewed a section of a security fence in Cloppenburg, Lower Saxony, in Germany, to conduct this Theft from Facility crime on 25 November. They escaped with car parts stolen from parked trucks.


On 15 November, Toys & Games were stolen in a Theft from Vehicle incident in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, UK. Thieves cut the curtain side of a parked and attended truck at Hilton Park Motorway Services Area. 


240 flat screen televisions were stolen in just 30 minutes after offenders broke open the rear door lock of a truck in an unsecured parking location in Appenweier, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, on 23 November.

TAPA EMEA’s IIS team also received reports of a further 20 crimes involving losses of between €50,000 and €100,000. The total loss for these incidents of €1,204,663 resulted in an average loss of €60,233. The top 10 crimes by value in this loss category were:

  • €78,456 – Tyres stolen from a vehicle parked on an industrial estate in Shepshed, Leicestershire, UK, on 22 November. Thieves cut a hole in the curtain side of the parked and attended semi-trailer before using an axle-grinder to cut through the rear locks on the vehicle;
  • €73,321 – Car Parts were the target in this Theft from Vehicle crime in a layby on the A421 in Renhold, Bedfordshire, UK, on 15 November;  
  • €73,074 – Clothing & Footwear taken from a parked and attended semi-trailer in Gravesend, Kent, UK, on 1 November;
  • €70,000 – Thieves cut the curtain side of a truck in an unsecured parking location  in Scheinfeld, Bavaria, in Germany, in order to steal 13 bicycles and e-bikes on 30 November; 
  • €68,030 – A layby on the A14 in Twywell, Northamptonshire, UK, was the scene of another curtain-cutting crime involving a parked and attended trailer. Furniture/Household Appliances were taken in this crime on 30 November;  
  • €68,030 – Another theft of Tyres, this incident took place in Daventry, Northamptonshire, in the UK on 28 November, after the offenders cut the tarpaulin side of a parked and attended truck;
  • €65,949 – A similar M.O. was used to steal Computers/Laptops from a truck in Newark, Nottinghamshire, UK, on 23 November;
  • €65,424 – Sports training shoes were stolen from a vehicle at Newport Pagnell Motorway Services in the UK on 15 November in another curtain-cutting incident;
  • €62,457 – Thieves forced open the rear doors of a secured HGV and semi-trailer on 3 November and took a shipment of Computers/Laptops. This crime occurred in a layby in North Hykeham, Lincolnshire, in the UK;
  • €59,557 – Another loss of Computers/Laptops and another crime in Daventry, UK, and another curtain-cutting incident – this time on 9 November.

In the United Kingdom, trucks parked at Motorway Service Areas (MSA) continue to face a major threat. IIS recorded 45 incidents – 33.8% of the UK’s total crimes last month - at 15 MSAs:


-        Donington

-        Leicester Forest

-        Leicester Markfield

-        Newport Pagnell

-        Northampton

-        Tibshelf

-        Toddington

-        Trowell


-        Chieveley

-        Membury


-        Hilton Park

-        Stafford


-        South Mimms

-        Thurrock


-        Cherwell Valley


The MSAs with most recorded incidents were:

-        Toddington, 8 incidents

-        Cherwell Valley, 7 incidents

-        Leicester Markfield, 6 incidents

-        Stafford, 5 incidents

-        Trowell, 4 incidents

TAPA’s IIS also recorded a further three incidents at the Welford truck stop in Cold Ashby, Northamptonshire. Overall, in the UK, 83 or 62.4% of crimes recorded in November occurred in the East Midlands.

Other incidents worth noting included:

-        An attempted hijacking of a truck on the A4 in Belgium. It was travelling in the direction of Wanlin from Luxembourg when a silver Ford vehicle tried to force the truck to stop. The driver, however, was able to alert the police and the crime was averted;

-        TAPA was notified of several thefts of diesel from trucks in Germany;

-        A number of attacks on Last Mile deliveries of Tobacco were reported in France;

-        In Viersen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, thieves used their own tractor units to steal three trailers on 17 November that were loaded with 400,000 eggs;

-        Eight offenders were seen cutting the curtain sides of trucks in the early hours of the morning on 8 November at the motorway parking on the A2 near Ziesar in Brandenburg, Germany.

Unsurprisingly, given the number of cargo crimes reported in unsecured parking locations, Theft from Vehicle was the most common type of incident recorded by TAPA EMEA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) in November. It was stated in 162 or 79.7% of the month’s freight thefts.

Food & Drink continued to be the IIS product category with the highest number of recorded thefts, 34 in November or 16.7% of all incidents. The other products suffering 10 losses or more last month were:

-        Clothing & Footwear – 18 incidents, 8.8% of the total

-        Tobacco – 16 or 7.9%

-        Cosmetics & Hygiene – 12 or 5.9%

There were 17 cases of theft of truck and/or trailer with no load onboard.

TAPA EMEA members can find further intelligence on cargo crimes reported to TAPA in November by using the searchable, password-protected IIS database.