Hijacking, break-in mark recent cargo heists

In California's San Fernando Valley last week, thieves scored a drug delivery intended for a Rite-Aid pharmacy and kidnapped the delivery man. They made off with the full cargo, executing the theft on the driver's first delivery of the day.

Police say the armed pair knew the delivery schedule and waited for the shipment, which contained Vicodin and Oxycontin. One forced the driver into the truck and then freed him after about two miles. Both thieves wore dark sweatshirts bearing the word "police."

The theft both fits and defies recent cargo theft trends. The thieves, as in many cases, were organized, and likely used reconnaissance in their planning. But this hijacking has elements of violence, which contrasts with the more common nonviolent theft of unattended tractor-trailers at truck stops or parking lots. Violent hijackings are rare because of the severity of criminal charges, which contrast with the relatively light penalties for unattended-truck theft.

Separately, a Canadian drugmaker was relieved of a "large quantity" of pseudoephedrine in late August and police are still looking for leads. The Buffalo News reports that the theft occurred in Fort Erie, Ontario. Thieves broke into the facility at 333 Jarvis St., the address listed for a Pharmetics contract manufacturing plant.

- see the LA Times story
- here's more from the AP
- check out the Buffalo News report