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Cargo Crime

NCJ Number
Transnational Organized Crime Volume: 3 Issue: 1 Dated: (Spring 1997) Pages: 39-49
J Salzano; S W Hartman
Date Published
11 pages
This article examines the increase in cargo theft, both in the United States and throughout the world.
While cargo theft is a rapidly increasing crime throughout the world, obtaining reliable and accurate cargo crime data is very difficult because there is no uniform cargo crime reporting system among the various law enforcement agencies. The theft victim initially contacts the local police, and state laws will affect how the crime is reported and prosecuted. Since there is no Federal Bureau of Investigation crime category for reporting cargo theft, it is grossly underreported or interrelated with other crime categories. Additionally, the US Attorney's Office usually will not prosecute any cargo crimes in which the loss is less than 50,000 dollars, choosing to devote their limited resources to more pressing cases with substantially larger losses. Shippers do not want to report cargo theft because it would discourage manufacturers from using their services. The lack of a centralized cargo tracking system and a uniform cargo crime reporting system results in delays before missing cargo is discovered and reported, difficulties in returning recovered cargo, and jurisdictional disputes over who should handle the matter. The article identifies high-risk cargo areas in the United States and Mexico, high-risk cargo, the perpetrators, and recommends measures to control cargo crime. Notes


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