Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 21, 2024
$30,000 Worth of Snow Crabs Snatched in Bold Northeast Philadelphia Heist, Driver AssaultedSource: Google Street View

In Northeast Philadelphia parking lot, a group of thieves made off with $30,000 worth of snow crabs, leaving a truck driver injured in their wake. The theft occurred near the former Franklin Mills Mall along Byberry Road, according to authorities.

The driver, who had been asleep in his cab, was jolted awake around 5 a.m. by the sound of an alarm indicating a break-in, only to find about a dozen perpetrators stealing nearly 100 boxes of Grandpa Harvey's snow crabs. In an attempt to boldly intervene, the driver was assaulted by two members of the group. As NBC Philadelphia reported, "Regrettably the driver intervened and was assaulted by two of the males. He wasn’t seriously injured but he was banged up a little bit," said Philadelphia Police Captain John Ryan.

It appears this heist was not an isolated incident, with truck cargo thefts in the area being carried out with increasing sophistication. John Rigney, the safety director of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, illuminated the situation in an interview with 6ABC, stating that criminals target trucks based on their trailer type, especially refrigerated ones known to carry valuable goods. His advice to truckers is unequivocal: "They're sleeping in a lot of cases, the refrigerated trucks make a lot of noise," stressing that they should not fight back but rather call 911 immediately.

Capt. Ryan echoed this sentiment, detailing prior thefts, including a significant heist last year where $750,000 worth of dimes were stolen from an unoccupied truck, as well as a recent incident involving the theft of bourbon and meat from a parked truck on Caroline Road. Law enforcement is currently working to thoroughly review surveillance footage in the area in hopes to apprehend the criminals. Meanwhile, authorities urge truckers to maintain vigilance and to quickly report any such incidents rather than to dangerously intervene.

Despite the driver's injuries, he was treated at the scene, and an investigation is ongoing. The Philadelphia police are urging anyone with information on the cargo thefts to come forward, as reported by Audacy's KYW Newsradio. This theft marks another entry in the troubling pattern of targeted hits on the livelihoods of those who keep the nation's goods moving.