Theft on Memorial Weekend

It has been a norm for cargo theft to increase during Memorial Day weekend in the US. This prevailing situation has made CargoNet issue a warning to cargo owners to be vigilant of potential theft threats to freight transportation.

During the holiday weekend in Colorado, a cargo thief engaged in a gun battle with the police when caught in the process of hijacking a truck. This incident ended in tragedy as the sheriff’s deputy got shot. However, the hijacker’s corpse was found after he committed suicide in the middle of a field.

Around 3 a.m., two trucks were parked on Highway 40/287 by the roadside on the outskirts of Limon, Colorado. Ladonna Woosley, who drove one of the trucks, had slept when a cargo thief tried to hijack her trailer. Fortunately, a nearby truck driver that witnessed the attempt to steal Ladonna’s trailer dialed 911.

A quick response from Lincoln County Deputy Sheriff Michael Hutton thwarted the operation. However, the thief shot at him before he could step down from his cruiser. Despite wearing a protective vest, the deputy got hit by the bullet of the armed thief.

Immediately, the gunman took to his heels to avoid being arrested. However, he was found dead in the wood about 1,000 feet away from the spot of the incident. Upon further examination, it became apparent that he had shot himself, given the gunshot wound on his head.

In Ladonna Woosley’s statement in a CBS4 news video, she claimed that she wasn’t aware until she heard the gunshot. According to her, she was petrified after she woke up to the incident.
Thankfully, she left the scene unhurt, but the second truck’s driver sustained an injury and was denied medical treatment. If the hijacking had happened successfully, the cargo thief would have fled with Gatorade and beers being hauled by Woosley and the other driver. The deputy was taken to a Denver hospital for treatment.

It is very unusual to hear gunfire during the hijacking of cargo. Although this incident was unfortunate, it serves as a warning to other truck drivers, especially for the subsequent holiday weekend. According to CargoNet, approximately one-fifth of cargo thefts in their records happened on the Fridays before the holiday weekend.

Also, about 30 percent of the truck hijackings occurred on Sundays and Mondays of the holiday weekend. CargoNet said the primary target of the thieves are; food and beverages, particularly meat and seafood products.

Cargo thieves also target trucks that haul alcohol with little attention given to electronics, says CargoNet’s Analyst. Based on these findings, CargoNet warns truckers to adhere to security measures during the upcoming holiday weekend to avoid falling victim to burglars.

The final piece of advice to Cargo drivers is to report suspicious activities to law enforcement. After notifying the necessary body, truckers can contact CargoNet through 888-595-2638 if there are no instant threats to life or property.

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