Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Brazil: Huge Heist at São Paulo Warehouse Nets Gang $6 Million in Electronics

According to The Associated Press, a heavily-armed gang as large as twenty reported broke into a Samsung electronics factory in São Paulo during the night shift early Monday (July 7) subdued workers and security guards, and made off with at least $6 million worth of cellphones and computers.

The gunmen captured eight plant employees as they neared the factory in a company bus just before midnight, said police in São Paulo state. 

According to media sources, the gunmen stole the employees' identification, took two of the workers hostages as they entered the factory in the college town of Campinas. The remaining six employees were held in an unknown location.

Once inside, the gang overpowered security guards and spent more than three hours in the plant, trucking out the electronics.

COMMENTS: I recall all too well when I was predominantly working in Latin America years ago the formidable challenges we faced in preventing large-scale thefts from warehouses.

According to police, it is believed that the gunmen stole at least $36 million in stolen electronics, although Samsung listed the loss at $6 million.

Investigators are examining security video around the South Korean company's facility north of São Paulo to see if they can identify any of the gunmen, although such a large heist is virtually impossible without "inside" help.

Compared to 2012, cargo theft has risen dramatically from 425 incidents in to 657 in 2013.