Video surveillance, a six-foot fence and padlocked trailers weren't enough to stop three men from stealing a tractor-trailer and possibly an unknown number of Timex watches from FedEx Freight, authorities said Thursday.
Security workers at FedEx notified Lincoln police Monday morning shortly after they realized trailers in their shipping yard had been moved over the weekend. And they told police they recorded video of three thieves about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Lincoln police detective Sgt. Tom Rowland said.
"Things just weren't where they were supposed to be," Rowland said, describing how FedEx security discovered the missing semi.
Surveillance video shows three men using one of FedEx's own rigs for more than an hour to pull about a half-dozen trailers away from the shipping dock so the men could open doors and examine the contents of at least two of the trailers, Rowland said.
The trio, he said, eventually drove off in a different FedEx rig, which was pulling a trailer FedEx officials suspect may have contained a shipment of Timex watches.
Because the watches have not been confirmed as the merchandise stolen and because FedEx officials are uncertain how many of the watches were included in the shipment, they cannot provide an estimate of monetary loss for the stolen merchandise, Rowland said.
He would not say whether he thought the theft may involve one or more FedEx employees, although Rowland did reveal details that indicate the criminals may have had keys to the padlocks on the trailers, the semis and the locked security gate.
Rowland said the semi used to pull the trailers away from the dock did not have any damage to the ignition switch, and the keys were not kept inside the cab.
Also, he said the padlocks on the rear trailer doors were not damaged and the entrance gate to the property was locked when FedEx personnel arrived for work Monday, even though the stolen rig must have been driven through that gate.
The stolen truck is a 1999 Volvo. The entire rig, exhibiting the FedEx logo, is valued at $18,000 to $25,000.
Police interviewed employees at the nearest business, the Holiday Inn Express, but no one there or at the nearby Thornton's Travel Plaza reported seeing anything related to the theft.
"It's going to take a while to hook up a half-dozen trailers and move them around," Rowland said, expressing hope the video can be enhanced and provide police with one or more suspects.
The only damage reported was a cut to a section of the chain-link fence from nearly top to bottom, he said. But the hole was not large enough to drive the stolen rig through.
Of the six trailers that were moved from the docks, Rowland said two were accessed. But nothing else so far has been reported missing - at least "not that they can tell."