Truck Drivers Beware: Robberies on the Riseby Jana Ritter - Published: 4/10/2015
Any long haul truck driver knows the routine, an endless day on the road and then the fight for a safe spot to sleep at night. According to the National Transportation Safety Board nearly all of the 185,000 open spots at truck stops across the US are filled up on a nightly basis and the numbers are only getting worse as more interstate truck stops are closing due to lack of funding. So what do you do when the truck stops are full and rest areas are either full or closed? You find a place to park on the side of the road or a closed shopping center with no security. This week an Illinois truck driver did exactly just that and had been sleeping in his cab in a parking lot, when he was awakened by a noise coming from his trailer door. When he exited the cab to investigate, he was immediately struck in the face and knocked unconscious. A few weeks earlier a pair of Volvo semi tractors were stolen from the same spot, only a block away.
January 05, 2018 - Trucker Faces 20 Years After Pleading Guilty To Smuggling Alien Found Dead In Locked Toolbox
January 02, 2018 - Police Identify 2 Oregon Truck Drivers Killed In Fiery Head-On Crash
December 27, 2017 - Iowa First Of Eight States To Debut New Truck Parking Information System
But even if you get lucky and land a spot at the busy truck stop, don't count on it being your safe haven either. Another problem that truck drivers face is the fact that truck stops are becoming increasingly dangerous and aside from the regular lot lizards, pimps, drug dealers and beggars lurking around, more and more truck drivers are being flat out attacked and robbed.
Just last month, a truck driver had only planned to make a quick stop to fuel up and eat at a Love’s truck stop in Ohio. He had parked his truck in the back lot and as he walked towards the store, he noticed two men who appeared to be homeless approaching drivers and begging for money. When he finished his meal and was climbing back inside his truck, one of the men suddenly appeared and asked him for money. When the driver refused, the man pulled out a gun and pressed it to the truck driver's head demanding all of his cash. With no choice but to comply, the truck driver emptied his wallet of over $200 in cash. Luckily he was left unharmed and the suspect fled the scene.
Truck drivers also need to know that its not just men they need to worry about. In February, a North Carolina woman was arrested on multiple charges of breaking into trucks parked at both rest areas and truck stops, usually while the drivers were sleeping. The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said that one truck driver woke up early one morning to a petite blonde (36-year-old Crystal Lynn Clark) trying to sneak into his truck. Although Clark managed to flee the scene in a vehicle, the truck driver was able to get her tag number and contacted the sheriff's office. She was subsequently stopped along the I-95 and arrested. Clark also has a long rap sheet of similar offenses.
Perhaps the most important thing that truck drivers need to always keep in mind, is that being alone on the road also means being on your own when it comes to saving your own life. Even when problems occur at the busy truck stops, many people including the management and other truck drivers tend to look the other way. You can only count on yourself to protect your own safety, so always be aware and prepared.
Have you or anyone you know ever had any similar experiences on the road?