Tractor Trailer Theft on the rise in Central Valley

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(Stockton, CA)
Monday, May 30, 2005

Over the past six weeks, as many as 50 big-rigs have been stolen in and around Stockton and Manteca. Unlike thieves looking for cargo such as electronics, police say these culprits are after truck parts.

Sergeant Mark Clemons of the California Highway Patrol heads a task force on vehicle theft.

"The trucks and trailers that are being stolen are being stripped of wheels, some engine components and sometimes the interior parts. You're looking at about a thirty thousand dollar lose for the rims and tires."

Police theorize that the organized bandits are loading the stolen parts into containers for shipment overseas or to Mexico.

Investigators say the thieves are targeting certain types of trucks, ones that they're comfortable with and can dismantled very quickly.
The authorities have recovered many of the rigs that have been stolen.