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ORLANDO, Fla. — Missing: a white tractor-trailer filled with $120,000 worth of Hershey’s chocolate.
Volusia deputies say the 2012 Freightliner Cascadia with red and orange stripes, and its cargo, were stolen from a DeLand truck center during the weekend.
It’s unclear whether the thief or thieves just wanted the vehicle — or had a mighty sweet tooth.
“We believe the thief likely wanted the truck and had no idea what the cargo was,” said Volusia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Brandon Haught.
Though tractor-trailer thefts aren’t common in Volusia, authorities say such heists are routine in Florida. Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Jeff Frost said thieves usually want the cargo and not the vehicle.
Cargo that doesn’t contain serial numbers — such as food and baby formula — is a popular target because the items are easy to sell without being tracked, Frost said.
That mirrors cargo-theft trends across the country.
Nationwide, 946 cargo-theft incidents were recorded last year by FreightWatch International. About 130 of those were in Florida, making the Sunshine State the second-highest in the country for thefts behind California.
The Volusia heist during the weekend fits right in with the most popular type of cargo theft: food and drink, which accounted for nearly 20 percent of all cargo theft in 2012, FreightWatch reports.
Frost said authorities frequently recover stolen tractor-trailers, but by the time the abandoned vehicle is found, the loot is gone.
Haught said deputies have no suspects and no sign of the truck, which is valued at $90,000.
©2013 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
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