Driver injured as thieves steal $30K worth of snow crabs from truck

PHILADELPHIA — Authorities are looking for up to a dozen thieves who beat and robbed a delivery driver of $30,000 worth of snow crabs Friday morning outside a Philadelphia Walmart.

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“It was Grandpa Harvey’s snow crabs,” Philadelphia police Capt. Jack Ryan told Philadelphia’s WPVI. “Two pallets — approximately 100 boxes valued at $30,000.”

Friday’s heist was the second such theft in 10 days, according to the news station.

Authorities allege that the refrigerated truck was parked at the Walmart delivery dock around 5:30 a.m. Friday when a security system alerted the driver to the thieves’ presence. The robbers, who arrived in four cars, were not deterred.

Two of the robbers reportedly attacked the driver, who was treated at the scene for his injuries.

There have been at least 38 cargo heists in the Philadelphia area so far this year. On April 10, thieves targeted a truck carrying 56 cases of pork worth more than $12,000, WPVI reported.

On March 14, a driver napping in his truck awoke to find thieves making off with the shipment of bourbon he was hauling.

John Rigney, safety director for the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, told the news station that criminals target specific types of trucks.

“They look at the type of trailer,” Rigney said. “If you see a refrigerated trailer, you know there’s something valuable in there. Whether it’s ice cream, pork, crab legs or beef.”

Ryan said that the thefts happen late at night or early in the morning, typically as drivers sleep while waiting to deliver their loads to stores or warehouses.

Because refrigerated trucks are noisy, they are taken off guard, the police captain said.

Authorities ask truck drivers to refrain from fighting off the assailants and putting their safety in jeopardy. Anyone who encounters cargo thieves should instead dial 911 immediately.

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