Heist of trailer full of pharmaceuticals foiled by GPS

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Thursday, July 24, 2014

Georgia authorities recovered a stolen trailer loaded with $2 million in pharmaceutical narcotics thanks to GPS monitoring devices in the tractor and trailer.

Authorities with the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office said they are still looking for the suspect or suspects who stole the parked trailer and the tractor from a Pilot Travel Center on Tuesday morning.

“There has been no arrest in this case at this time,” Bartow County sheriff’s investigator Jonathan White said in a phone interview with “Land Line Now.” “It is unknown the exact number of suspects involved with this, due to the elaborate time that was put into the stealing of this truck. It is believed that there are more than one persons involved in this.”

The driver of the stolen rig – a 2001 Peterbilt tractor trailer hauling a 2007 utility cargo trailer owned by Arab Cartage and Express of Arab, Ala., – had stopped to use the truck stop restroom, according to White.

When he returned to the parking lot, his rig was missing. White said the driver “immediately” contacted law enforcement. The driver is not considered a suspect in the theft.

Upon arrival at the scene, White said deputies were able to quickly establish contact with the company that was hired to track the load with GPS monitors to establish the vehicle’s location.

White said the thieves switched the trailer onto another truck, in an attempt to thwart pursuit. However the GPS monitoring device in the trailer led authorities to the missing load.

The trailer was actually located by the Georgia State Patrol and deputies that were checking the area near Interstate 75, White said. An unrelated accident had caused traffic delays, thwarting the thieves’ escape plan.

White said officers are trying to determine if the driver left the keys in the ignition of the truck before going inside the truck stop, and whether or not the vehicle was left running.

“Land Line Now” Staff Reporter Reed Black contributed to this report.

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