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On Sunday afternoon in Belton, Texas, McGuire Transportation management discovered that 31 of their trucks would not start because every electronic control module (ECM) had been stolen from under the hood.
Phil McGuire, President of McGuire Transportation, said, “These only fit Detroit diesels, which is the make of the motor. They come off Freightliner trucks, and they are all the older, 2007 and older, are the ones that they took.”
“An ECM is basically the truck’s brain, and all of a truck’s electronics are routed through it,” McGuire said. “The trucks won’t start without the modules”
One ECM replacement costs approximately $2,500. So missing 31 ECMs will cost about $77,500 in parts alone. He figures the thieves will probably resell the modules somewhere for cash.
“When talking with some other people, those are the easiest [ECMs] to get. They can have those off in just a matter of a few minutes actually if they know what they’re doing,” McGuire added.
The thieves accessed the trucks by cutting a hole in the fence and sliding right through; they were not seen on security footage because the trucks they were stealing from hid them perfectly.
McGuire Transportation delivers household goods and dry grocery products throughout the state – they are not the only ones that were affected by so many trucks out of service. The company also leases truck-tractors, storage trailers, and OTR trailers.
McGuire explains, “Well, there were a lot of loads that did not go yesterday, a lot of deliveries that were to be made, a lot of drivers that were supposed to work that didn’t get to work, a lot of customers that were a little upset that their freight didn’t go.”
Belton Police Department was contacted immediately and a police report has been filed.
Sgt. Kim Hamilton with the Belton Police Department said, “We are actively investigating the crime. We have processed the crime scene, and we are contacting other areas’ agencies making sure that they could potentially be a victim as well.”
The company estimates that this crime will cost them anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000.
“I want these people punished. Nobody deserves to do that, they don’t deserve to do that and get away with it.”
Security in the truck yards is to be increased to deter other robberies of this kind from happening again, according to Central Texas News Now.
McGuire is offering a reward to anyone with information regarding this incident. If you have any information, please call the Belton Police Department at 254-933-5840 or McGuire at 254-791-1003.