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Armed men steal $650,000 worth of cargo in Harbor Gateway

The group raided a company and stole three shipping containers loaded with TVs and DVD players in a heist authorities suspect may be the latest in a string of thefts by the same group.

February 17, 2009|Victoria Kim

A group of armed men raided a Harbor Gateway company and stole three shipping containers in a heist authorities suspect may be the latest in a string of cargo thefts by the same group in the Southland, police said Monday.

At least five men subdued a security guard at a logistics company in the 1500 block of Francisco Street about 8 p.m. Sunday, leaving the guard tied and lying face down on the ground, said Officer Julie Sohn of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The cargo contained about $650,000 worth of TVs and DVD players, said Det. Yvette Moreno of the LAPD's Commercial Crimes Division.

Moreno said the raid appeared to have been carefully planned, unlike typical cargo thefts, and may be related to about eight similar heists that have occurred in the past six months in different ports around Southern California.

Two of the men, armed with handguns, entered the warehouse through a rear door and the rest drove in through the front with semitrailer trucks, officials said. When a security guard tried to stop the vehicles from entering, the two armed men attacked the guard, Sohn said.

"It's so orchestrated you know that they're all communicating with each other," Moreno said. The LAPD is cooperating with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol to investigate the crimes, she said.

The men were driving a light-blue truck with a sleeper cab and two white trucks without sleeper cabs with "GSC" written on the door, Moreno said. Anyone with information was asked to call (877) LAPD-24-7 or the Commercial Crimes Division at (213) 485-2507.

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victoria.kim@latimes.com

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