Thieves steal $30k in crab legs – leave driver injured – during recent cargo theft

April 22, 2024

Ryan Witkowski


The trend of cargo theft in Philadelphia continues to grow, with the most recent incident leaving the driver of the truck injured.

Around 5:30 a.m. on Friday, April 19, police responded to a reported robbery in the 4300 block of Byberry Road in Northeast Philadelphia. The thieves made off with two pallets – nearly 100 boxes – of frozen snow crabs. Officials said the frozen crustaceans were valued at $30,000.

According to reports, up to a dozen suspects used four vehicles to perpetrate the heist. The driver of the refrigerated truck was asleep in the cab and was made aware of the theft by a security system on the trailer.

The crooks, however, were undeterred. Police said the driver was beaten up and had his cell phone taken when he attempted to stop thieves. He was treated on the scene for injuries.

Perhaps most interesting was the location of the cargo theft, which occurred at the Walmart delivery dock in the Philadelphia Mills Shopping Center, a place with presumably heightened security.

Officials said they currently are reviewing surveillance footage from the area.

As the trend of brazen crimes continues – this incident occurring nine days after thieves made off with 56 cases of pork valued at $12,000 – police officers are telling truckers not to intervene if they are the victim of cargo theft and to call 911 immediately.

That sentiment is echoed by John Rigney, safety director of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, who said the thieves are targeting specific trucks.

“They look at the type of trailer,” Rigney told ABC6 News. “If you see a refrigerated trailer, you know there’s something valuable in there. Whether it’s ice cream, pork, crab legs or beef.”

According to police, the recent incident marks the 53rd cargo theft reported in the city so far this year.

In March, cases of bourbon were stolen from a trailer in the northeast portion of the city. In that case – as with many of the other recent thefts – the driver was asleep in the cab when the crooks broke into the trailer.

Last year, $750,000 worth of dimes were stolen from a parked truck that had just left the mint. That theft occurred in the same parking lot as the most recent incident. LL