Sheriff hunts stolen perfume


By William F. West
Staff Writer

Saturday, December 23, 2017

CAMDEN — The theft of a shipping container full of high-end perfume earlier this month potentially smells like the work of organized crime, a Camden County law enforcement official suggested Saturday. 

The Camden Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help tracking down the thieves who stole a flatbed trailer carrying a shipping container full of perfume worth about $7,000.

Camden Sheriff’s Lt. Max Robeson said the heist apparently occurred the night of Dec. 12. The driver of a tractor-trailer — following his nearly two-decade-long routine — hauled his load to a site along Morgans Corner Road, detached the trailer containing the perfume container and drove home for the night, Robeson said.  

When the driver returned early the next day to pick up the trailer and head to Norfolk, Virginia, he discovered both it and the container were missing, Robeson said. He reported the theft to Camden authorities shortly before 5 a.m. Dec. 13.

The missing metal container is blue in color and owned by Coty Transport, Robeson said.

Robeson said 24 glass bottles of perfume were inside the container, each costing more than $290.

Robeson didn’t know the brand name of the perfume. He said the perfume’s point of origin was southern Florida and its destination was somewhere in Germany.

Because Coty Transport has lost a number of other transport trailers during the past year, authorities are considering the possibility that organized crime might be responsible for the Morgans Corner heist, Robeson said. Thieves apparently track truckers’ shipping patterns for an opportune time to drive off with trailer loads of high-end merchandise.

At the same time, Robeson is baffled why someone would want to steal perfume. The only place to sell it would be the black market, he noted.

The Camden Sheriff’s Office is searching for leads in the heist but thus far has come up empty, Robeson said. 

“Nobody heard anything or saw anything,” he said.

Making the probe more difficult is the location of the heist: It occurred just northwest of the Morgans Corner Duck Thru at the junction of U.S. Highways 17 and 158. The Duck Thru is a popular spot for long-distance truckers to refuel. So someone driving off with a large shipping container early in the morning wouldn’t be unusual, he said.

“It’s normal to them,” Robeson said, referring to Morgans Corner residents.

Robeson said anyone with any information about the incident is asked to phone the Camden Sheriff's Office at 338-5046 or the local Crime Line at 335-5555. Callers to Crime Line remain anonymous.