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Commercial truckers say that theft of their cargo is becoming a big problem. Experts saw a huge spike in semi truck cargo thefts in 2009. Most of the thefts that have been reported occur when the truck driver stops for a bite to eat.

WATCH VIDEO in Spokane WA reports:

“Last year, close to 500 million dollars of goods were stolen from truckers in the U.S. That’s a 67 percent increase over the 290 million from 2008. Thieves stole 859 truckloads last year alone.

The items that appear to be at high risk are electronic or pharmaceutucal goods because they can be easily sold to consumers.

“Truckers have been warned by their companies to stay away from certain states because the risk of a heist is too high. High risk states include Georgia, Texas and Florida.

Trucker drivers also say they’re coming up with more ways to protect themselves and their cargo.

Tractor-trailer driver Angela Middleton gives an example of ways truckers are trying to prevent thefts. “A friend of mine actually has a chain that he will strap through his door handles and locks it where there’s just little room left on his side to close it, so if they try to open the door they can’t even get it all the way open.”

The thefts may be related to a down economy, but others could be because of plain carelessness, as drivers leave their rigs unlocked.”

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