The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) recently recovered GPS jamming technology after executing a search warrant in relation to a suspected cargo theft – the fourth such jamming device confiscated in the past 14 months in the southeastern U.S., noted supply chain security company FreightWatch International (FWI).

The firm added that a well-known group of Cuban cargo thieves operating along the eastern seaboard are using GPS jammers to derail tracking and tracing efforts of their heists:

  • In July 2014 incident, evidence suggests those thieves attempted to deploy two separate jamming devices to interrupt the communication of possible tracking devices hidden on a tractor-trailer hauling pharmaceutical products stolen from a truck stop in Cartersville, GA. That jamming effort proved unsuccessful and law enforcement, led by GBI, tracked down the shipment and recovered the load intact.
  • In August 2014, an cargo thieves stole a shipment of copper also in Cartersville, GA, using a similar modus operandi (M.O) by deploying jamming equipment that reduced the effectiveness of tracking efforts and also interfered with Law Enforcement communications equipment. Despite that electronic interference, authorities located the stolen shipment several miles away later that day. 

FWI noted that investigations led by the GBI with cooperation from the Miami-Dade County Cargo Theft Task Force so far resulted in four Cuban cargo thieves being charged and extradited from Miami, FL, with five other states also awaiting extradition. 

The firm stressed that while the employment of jamming technology remains rare across the U.S., this recent recovery of a jamming device from known cargo criminals is worth highlighting as it creates the potential to hinder the stolen cargo recovery process when countermeasures are not in place.  

FWI added that, outside the U.S., jamming technology has been used by cargo thieves for some time, though there are now effective countermeasures available to mitigate the risk of jamming.