The number of cargo thefts in the United States in 2016’s first quarter was up 8 percent, but the average value of the thefts was down 56 percent when compared to the first quarter in 2015, according to FreightWatch International’s quarterly report, released this week.

FreightWatch recorded a total of 221 thefts in the quarter with an average loss value per theft of $112,467. No thefts with a value over $1 million were reported in the quarter, FWI reports.

Of the 221 incidents recorded, 66 occurred in January, 90 in February and 65 in March.

Food and drinks continued to be the most stolen product type in the quarter, accounting for 20 percent of total thefts in the U.S. Home and garden ranked as the second most stolen product type at 14 percent of the total.

FWI saw “a dramatic increase” in the theft of building and industrial products, 263 percent, over the first quarter in 2015, and FWI noted a correlation between geographical surges in stolen building supplies in states where the housing market is growing, most notably Texas.

In 2016’s first quarter, California tallied the most thefts with 21 percent of all recorded thefts, which represented a 42 percent increase over 2015’s first quarter. Texas ranked second with 15 percent of all thefts, followed by Florida with 14 percent. Alabama saw the biggest increase year over year in thefts, seeing a 600 percent increase – 43 percent of which were building and industrial products.

Unsecured parking continues to be the No. 1 location for thefts, accounting for 89 percent, FWI reports. Theft of full truckload also continues to be most prevalent, making up 83 percent of thefts.

CCJ Digital