- Over the year and a half, there has been a severe rash of high end automobile cargo thefts in the Atlanta area.
- More than 10 cargo theft claims have been filed for losses occurring within the 285 Perimeter around Atlanta.
- The majority of the thefts are concentrated in the southwest suburbs around the airport (Union City, College Park, East Point, etc.).
- Car thieves are targeting high-end dealerships, such as Audi, BMW, Infiniti, and Porsche.
- Here is how these losses typically occur:
- As the driver unloads the units, he or she stages them in a different area, leaving the keys inside the unlocked cargo unit.
- After the first one, two, or three are unloaded, another vehicle with a driver and several passengers pulls up to the staged cars.
- The passengers get out of the vehicle, get into the unlocked cargo vehicles, and all the vehicles drive away.
- I know of only one instance when the thief was apprehended; the stolen units are rarely recovered.
Drivers should use extra care when delivering to the above-mentioned areas. These losses can be easily prevented by the drivers removing the keys from the staged cargo units and only providing the keys to the consignee at the time the delivery receipt is signed. Until the delivery receipt is signed and the liability transfers to the consignee, drivers should keep the keys on their persons at all times.
Car thieves know that keys are often left inside the cargo units, making the auto hauling industry especially susceptible to theft losses. If we change our practices as an industry, we can help shrink the imaginary target car thieves see when they look at an automobile hauler.