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International Marine Underwriter Cargo
Theft Advisory


We received good intelligence that five members of a Florida based cargo theft crew will be arriving in New Jersey on Wednesday, November 17th.  This crew will be committing a cargo theft somewhere in the Northeast (NJ, PA, MD, NY, IL, CT, OH).  We are assuming they already scouted the target location in the past and will commit the theft over the next several days or the holiday weekend (Thanksgiving).  Please have your employees keep alert for suspicious activity, and remind them of proper protocol when responding to burglar alarms, this is when (holiday weekends) the thieves want us to be lazy and disregard protocol.  Please secure your cargo!!  Please report any suspicious activity to your local police department 1st, and contact me 2nd on my cell number below.

It is recommended that if you will have closed facilities over the next two weekends (one of which is the extended Thanksgiving Holiday) that you either hire security personnel or task someone in your organization with inspecting/driving by/checking on any closed operations.  Remain vigilant.  Do not ignore “false alarms” at premises.  Take all alerts as though they were accurate.


Lt. Michael McDonnell #4466, New Jersey State Police, Cargo Theft Unit, Office: 732-548-7153, Cell: 732-718-0901, Fax: 732-494-2105


Based on the methods used to illicitly commandeer the recent BMS shipment in Florence, Kentucky it is reasonable to assume that our opponents from southern Florida have become active again - and this intelligence is further proof of that type of activity. Although the “northeast” is the alleged targeted area ALL OF US, NO MATTER WHERE IN THE UNITED STATES YOU ARE BASED need to be diligent and pay heed to this intelligence. These individuals existing track record of this type of activity - particularly over long-term holiday periods - is well documented.

That leads me into an early “holiday” security brief: 

Be pro-active: Today, make an effort to determine if your company has any anticipated shipments coming up over the holiday and, if there are, take necessary precautions to reduce the risk of those shipments being staged or stored prior to actual delivery dates. 

Companies still seem to ship goods over these down periods - weekends and holidaysBe sure, if you must, that your assets in-transit are either very safely secured and/or being consistently monitored. If you have technology at your disposal, such as GPS tracking, use it to its fullest extent possible - both in-transit and stationary storage. All technological assets, whatever they may be, need to be deployed during these holiday periods

You should also be paying close attention to any warehousing and distribution facilities - particularly ones that won’t be staffed over this period.

  • Check security alarm and surveillance systems to ensure proper working order
  • Ensure your back-up cellular alarm system is fully functional
  • Perform perimeter checks, look at fencing, all windows, all doors and your roofs to ensure they are properly secured
  • Make sure all of your exterior lighting is functional - perform a check and replace/repair any lighting units that are defective
  • Don’t make it easier for potential burglars by leaving anything outdoors (or within a warehouse) that they could use to help facilitate a crime
  • Ensure your company’s alarm call list is current and contains valid phone numbers
  • Make sure all the employees on that call list respond immediately to any calls from your alarm monitoring contractor
  • Treat ALL alarms with the same degree of diligence
  • Have law enforcement respond to ALL alarm events - even when the system is suspected of mal-functioning (you can worry about any false alarm “fees” after the weekend is over)
  • If you don’t currently employ a guard service consider hiring a contracted guard entity just for that specific time period
  • Contact law enforcement and request, if possible, additional patrols in the area
  • Talk with your neighbors - offer to assist them by remaining diligent if they, in turn, will do the same for you
  • Trailers backed into dock doors should be locked and secured, if unable to be unloaded prior to close of business.
  • Remove keys from all warehouse equipment (forklifts) and place in a secure location