There were some items stolen from my truck when it was in the shop. One of them was valuable. What do I do? What should I do?
Response from Vicki:
For your sake, I'm sorry you experienced this. Mike and I once had something stolen from our truck when it was in the shop, but it wasn't all that valuable.
Another time, we had an electrical cord stolen from between two double pup trailers while our rig was on a company yard. It was company equipment but it was very inconvenient to get it replaced.
There are two things at stake regarding stolen items: one is emotional and the other is financial.
We would all like to believe that our co-workers or those we entrust with the timely repair of our vehicles are honest. When we find out that something has been stolen -- and we have made a careful search to make sure that it hasn't actually been moved or misplaced -- it may shake us to the core of our beings.
In some countries, people don't think twice about taking things that aren't theirs. However, in the USA and perhaps other places, people do still place value on honesty.
There is also the financial aspect of the items stolen from your truck. Were they replaceable or irreplaceable? We urge truckers, if possible, not to take irreplaceable heirlooms with them on the road. Of course, you may have some irreplaceable items with you like important paperwork or electronics containing personal data in your truck. (Hopefully you removed things like this from your truck before it went into the shop.)
You can take the Dale Carnegie approach and seek to think the best of others in spite of their slip-ups. You may choose to let the matter slide, ask around about the items or actually confront someone (if you definitely know who took them).
If you "slip-seat", the chances of your ever getting your items back may be slim to none. It is also possible that the items were thrown away and perhaps you can rummage through trash cans to retrieve them (assuming you want to go to the trouble and it is done before the trash is hauled off).
You can report the items stolen to the appropriate supervisor. If recovery is impossible, we do not know how likely it will be that restitution will be made. If nothing else, reporting the matter will make the supervisor on duty aware that there is a thief in the shop. The stealing of your items may be one of a series of thefts that ends up leading to the thief's reprimand or termination.
Even though the items were stolen from your truck while it was in the shop, please consider other ways that the items may have been taken. Who had access to your truck or your truck's key while you were out of it? Is it possible that someone other than a worker in the shop took the items?
If you are a local truck driver who leaves your truck at a company yard every day or night, I encourage you to start taking your valuable items home with you each day. That way, none of them can be taken in the future. This might be a bit difficult if you have your own electronics installed in the truck.
Also, if you're a local driver and the items stolen from your truck were unique, you might want to start watching sites like Craigslist or eBay for listings of items like yours. You may also want to visit your local pawn shops to put out the word about the stolen merchandise.
If an extremely valuable item was stolen, you may want to report it to the police. Determine just how far you want to go in trying to recover the item(s).
We also leave it to your discretion as to whether or not to report the theft on a truckers' forum online. Chances are, doing that might make you feel better but won't do anything productive.
Hopefully, if you mention that you had items stolen from your truck, you can get them back. This might be the case if your truck was "cleaned out" and your things were bagged and taken to the office.
However, if the items were for consumption or bodily use, you might not want them back because they could be contaminated.
If you have success in recovering the items stolen from your truck, would you please write back to let us know what you did and how the recovery took place? Other readers of this site may be interested in knowing.
We wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.