Instead of shoplifting from stores, some thieves are zeroing in on another target: Trains and delivery trucks full of packages on the way to customers’ doorsteps.
UPS Chief Executive Carol Tome said Friday that one of the company’s 18-wheeler trucks was robbed in Atlanta in the early hours of the morning. She said thieves hijacked the truck after the driver left one of the delivery company’s largest hubs.
In downtown Los Angeles, a video from the local CBS station shows looted packages littering the train tracks. Thieves raided cargo containers and left behind cardboard boxes that had been carrying purchases from Amazon and REI, including some with UPS labels and tracking numbers, according to the report. Those abandoned boxes carried merchandise ranging from unused Covid tests and fishing lures to EpiPens, according to tweets from one of the TV station’s reporters.
Organized theft has gained more attention from major retailers and trade groups, after brazen smash-and-grabs at stores like Nordstrom and concerns that thieves can steal and sell goods anonymously online. CEOs of companies, including Target, Neiman Marcus, Levi Strauss & Co. and Walgreens a sent a letter to Congress last month, urging legislation that makes it harder for criminals to hide behind false screennames and false information on third-party websites.
Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said the crimes — which are sometimes violent — have exacerbated staffing challenges for retailers who are trying to find and retain employees during the pandemic.