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RFID tags lead police to stolen plastic pallets

United States – According to Al Farrell, Vice President of Asset Management at Intelligent Global Pooling Systems (iGPS), plastic pallet theft is a ‘significant problem resulting in a multi-million dollar line item loss for companies’. His comment follows a grand-scale plastics theft that took place in Los Angeles last December.

A pre-Christmas raid of a local plastics recycling facility by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s special Industrial Plastics Theft Task Force led to the discovery of well over US$ 250 000 (Euro 190 000) worth of illegally-obtained pallets, which were eventually recovered due to the embedded radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags created by iGPS.

‘Unfortunately, this was not an isolated occurrence – we have experienced similar issues in other states,’ notes Mr Farrell. ‘But our proprietary technology, which keeps our pallets in constant contact with us, makes it virtually impossible for someone to take our pallets anywhere without our knowing about it.’

He attributes the appeal of such crimes to the rising value of plastics. Arrests made over the recent incident prove that the active support of the Sheriff’s task force to ‘combat these thieves’ is not only effective but also should ‘serve as a model for other law enforcement agencies’, he insists.

In addition to the plastic pallets, a number of boxes containing hundreds of pounds worth of ground plastic were confiscated. Captain Mike Claus of the Industry Sheriff’s station, which forms the base of the task force, confirms the gravity of the situation by revealing that over US$ 5 million (Euro 3.8 million) in stolen, trademarked plastic has been recovered in the last four months alone.

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