Tags: New Financial Crime Stealing Produce | Manhole Covers

New Financial Crime: Stealing Produce, Manhole Covers

Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 09:13 AM

Forget Goldman Sachs. The newest financial crime in the United States is stealing produce by the truckload, an act that can net bandits several hundred thousand dollars.

“I’ve never experienced people targeting produce loads before,” Shaun Leiker, an assistant manager at Allen Lund, a Florida trucking broker who was hit three times by the thieves, told The New York Times.

“It’s a little different than selling TVs off the back of your truck.”

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Bandits now swipe trucks of tomatoes (Getty photo)
The thefts to which Leiker was referring occurred almost immediately after the price of Florida tomatoes skyrocketed following freezes in Mexico that badly damaged crops there.

Produce buyers and sellers typically have freight brokers hire the trucking companies that transport their goods from place to place. It appears that the vegetable bandits monitored Web sites on which brokers post notices that seek to connect produce shippers with trucking companies.

In late March, they contacted Lund, who performed the standard checks, including verifying the company’s federal registration and its insurance coverage before assigning them to pick up a load of tomatoes from a Miami shipper.

Over the next four days, working through Lund and three other freight brokers, the thieves eventually made off with a total of six loads of tomatoes, a load of cucumbers and a load of frozen meat. The total value of the illegal haul: about $300,000, the Times reported.

The South Florida Times reports that Miami Dade County has had to toughen penalties against copper thieves and tighten regulations on scrap metal dealers due to a rash of thefts of manhole covers and street signs.

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Forget Goldman Sachs. The newest financial crime in the United States is stealing produce by the truckload, an act that can net bandits several hundred thousand dollars. I ve never experienced people targeting produce loads before, Shaun Leiker, an assistant manager at...
New Financial Crime Stealing Produce,Manhole Covers
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2011-13-20
 

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