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2 arrested in nearly $1 million theft of tractor-trailers, pallets

Men stole wooden pallets for pallet supplier business, authorities allege

A wooden pallet supplier and his employee were recently arrested on suspicion of stealing truckloads of pallets from distribution centers in Florida, authorities said.

Bobby Herrera Jr., 45, and Nicholas Howard, 36, face dozens of felony counts in connection with the theft of $704,487 worth of wooden pallets and 25 tractor-trailers valued at more than $231,000.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) said it began investigating Herrera, the owner of JCI Pallet in Plant City, Florida, in July, according to a release.

Authorities said Herrera was caught on video removing seven tractor-trailers full of pallets from two Florida distribution facilities: Saddle Creek Logistical Services in Auburndale and the Walmart Distribution Center in Winter Haven.

Herrera was arrested in September. While investigating the case, PCSO detectives said they learned Herrera’s on-site manager at JCI Pallet, Howard, assisted in removing stolen trailers filled with pallets from two distribution centers.

The businesses affected by the thefts include Walmart, Saddle Creek Logistics, 48Forty Solutions and Monison Pallets.

“This type of theft negatively impacts the consumer when businesses have to raise costs to account for this type of loss,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement.

Authorities recovered all of the trailers and pallets.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact nmahoney@freightwaves.com