Combating cargo theft: An interview with Schneider security director Walt Fountain
Some of the task force’s other initiatives will have a more direct impact. Their regional theft task forces are a good example, as those are very successful. It would be great to see direct federal participation in that. We certainly appreciate what federal agencies have given to pay for officer overtime for these task forces. Essentially, you get folks who understand the problem and have the knowledge and the tools to take on the cargo thieves head to head.
Sentencing guidelines is the other thing — if they could get more strict sentencing guidelines for cargo theft, that would most definitely deter the thieves. I’ve suspected cargo theft is popular with guys who were into moving drugs and the heat got too hot. We’ve done something to address sentencing guidelines for drugs, and now the guys are looking for something else to steal, something else to focus on. In most cases, if they don’t have multimillion thefts that can be proven, we’re lucky to get a year of time for these guys at most. Cargo theft clearly undermines our economy and the fabric of our nation. In addition, refrigerated consumables, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and food and beverage products are often targeted by these thieves, who can easily sell them after they’ve been tainted. The leadership in the task force are bringing that message forward, and I would like to think that our legislators and others are beginning to hear that message.