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ALERT: Sheriff warns truckers about rising part theft from parked big rigs


A sheriff’s office based in California is reminding truckers to use extra caution due to a local and national rise in thefts of common powertrain controller (CPC4) modules.

On December 1, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (SBCSD) issued a CPC4 theft alert to the trucking community.

“BE AWARE: There has been a local & national rise of Common Powertrain Controllers thefts out of semi-trucks. Trucks are being targeted anywhere they are parked & left unoccupied. Many thefts have occurred at repair shops, truck yards, or even dirt lots used to store parked trucks,” the SBCSD said.

The theft of CPC units has been an area of growing concern in the trucking industry this year.

In May 2022, Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) issued an alert of their own warning that the theft of CPC4 modules from parked trucks is increasing, “with thieves seeking reprogramming and reinstallation on other trucks.” DTNA said that many of the thefts were occurring at truck dealerships or customer terminals.

DTNA laid out an action plan to combat the increase in CPC4 thefts which included the following steps:

  • Asking all customers and dealers to report stolen CPCs to both local law enforcement and DTNA at 1-800-FTL-HELP. 
  • Recommending all dealerships, customers and repair facilities cross reference vehicle identification numbers from CPCs brought in for installation against the company’s database of CPCs to ensure the CPC hasn’t been stolen or illicitly sold. 
  • Providing tracking capability through DTNA Service Systems to detect any stolen CPC attempting to be installed on a different VIN.
  • Asking any dealership or repair facility with a CPC confirmed stolen to report it to both their local police agency and DTNA.
  • Recommending all fleets and customers password-protect their CPCs.

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