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MEAT HEIST: 5 Suspects wanted for stealing boxes of frozen meat from refrigerated truck in South Philly
By Kevin Hughes // Nov 21, 2023

The Philadelphia Police Department is currently searching for five men suspected of stealing boxes of frozen beef from a refrigerated truck on Nov. 15 in South Philadelphia.

The heist took place at around 12:30 a.m. on the 700 block of Pattison Avenue in South Philly East. The targeted tractor-trailer was parked overnight at the supply warehouse lot for Jetro, a restaurant supply store. The driver was in the cab at the time of the heist. When the driver felt his truck shake, he went out of the cab to investigate.

The driver then saw three individuals at the rear of the trailer hauling boxes of frozen beef out to two other thieves sitting in a nearby parked car. The driver told police that one of the suspects said to him: "We're only taking a little."

The thief then allegedly motioned toward his hip, implying that he and possibly more of the thieves had firearms. The driver noted that the five suspects fled the scene in a silver Ford Explorer SUV.

At least 15 boxes of beef were stolen, with an estimated value of $7,660. Some more slabs of beef spilled out of the truck and were left behind after the suspects were discovered by the truck driver and escaped in a rush.

Trend of cargo thefts not expected to end soon

Truck drivers all over the country, especially in large cities, are dealing with an increase in cargo thefts. The increased danger to truck drivers has resulted in them arming themselves with tools to keep their high-priced cargo safe, such as heavy-duty locks.

"There's $250,000 worth of meat in the back of these trucks, and that's $750,000 by the time they sell it. That's a lot of money," said trucker Mark Leighton.

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In Philadelphia, at least 196 cargo thefts have been recorded by Philadelphia police since the year began. Last year, 242 cargo thefts were recorded. The heist on the frozen beef boxes in South Philly comes just a few weeks after 184 cases of crab clusters worth approximately $73,000 were stolen from a truck in North Philadelphia.

The increase in cargo theft in the past few months is a trend that isn't expected to end soon, as reported by some industry insiders.

The latest data from CargoNet, a Jersey City, New Jersey-based data- and information-sharing corporation working to fight cargo theft, showed a 59 percent increase in recorded theft events in the third quarter of 2023 when compared with the past year. (Related: Cargo thefts spiked 15% in 2022 across US and Canada as organized crime rings targeted supply chain.)

"As we enter the final quarter of 2023, there is no indication that cargo theft activity will slow in the domestic United States. We anticipate that strategic cargo theft will remain at unprecedented levels of activity throughout the quarter," the company said in a statement.

Follow Collapse.news for more news about cargo thefts happening in America.

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More related articles:

Rampant theft prompts NYC grocery stores to consider locking up food.

Retailers, businesses continue to flee Portland due to rampant violence, theft and lawlessness.

CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens to close down more than 1,500 stores due to rising retail crime, leaving MILLIONS without local access to medications.

Mexico considers deploying national guard troops to defend high-crime highways and put a stop to cargo theft.

Thieves now targeting containers loaded with electronics and household goods.

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