Highway robbery is a very common crime in Mexico–entire armed gangs pull over one fully loaded 18-wheeler after another and take all the cargo from the drivers at gun point. Cargo theft is a worldwide problem, but in Mexico it is one of the most violent and prevalent crimes, as about 60% to 65% of the thefts involve a gun.
But how would these thieves pull over huge 18-wheelers in the first place? The robbers trick truck drivers into thinking they’re police officers. The robbers will set-up realistic road blocks and they even have uniforms and the patrol cars, making it seem like the real deal for the drivers, leaving them with no choice but to pull over.
“It’s very common to see gunmen … dressed up like federal policemen manning very legitimate-looking roadblocks out in the middle of nowhere on one of these federal highways,” said Samuel Logan, the manager for Latin America at iJET Intelligent Risk Systems, a global intelligence and risk management consultancy.
At this point, the robbers have the drivers at gun point, and simply unhitch the trucks’ cargo and hitch it onto their own cabs.
Canacar, a highway cargo trade group in Mexico, reported more than 10,000 highway thefts of cargo last year, with estimated losses at about $9 billion. With such huge losses, the Mexican government and trucking companies are in serious need of a long term solution.
They have tried using regular GPS trackers with the cargo, but many robbers either learn to disable the trackers, or take the cargo under a bridge so that the GPS signal is blocked. This presents the need for a GPS tracker that utilizes cellular and satellite technology, giving it the ability to work indoors and out. An aGPS trackers could be a possible solution, or truck companies could spend more time hiding the GPS in a place where the robbers won’t think to look.
Since an aGPS tracker stores GPS location inside and outside, it would work under bridges, so authorities would be able to track the cargo to the storage areas and hopefully shut down the entire operation.