An Amazon delivery driver in San Ramon, Calif. was kidnapped after a vehicle collision Saturday afternoon, less than a week after a string of carjackings hit drivers at the e-commerce giant and delivery competitors FedEx and UPS.
The collision between the Amazon truck and a dark-colored SUV carrying two suspects occurred at around 3 p.m., according to local San Francisco news affiliate KRON-TV. The female suspect got into the passenger seat of the Amazon truck and forced the victim to drive to a Bank of America in San Ramon while the male suspect followed in the SUV.
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Sourcing Journal reached out to the San Ramon Police Department and Amazon for comment.
The suspects forced the Amazon driver to withdraw an undisclosed amount of cash from the bank, the report said. The Amazon employee was then forced to drive to a second Bank of America. When the transaction at that bank did not work, the suspects left the delivery driver there.
Police did not report any injuries for both the victim and suspects, KRON reported.
It’s unclear if the pair had a weapon, the report said. There has been no word on any arrests.
The incident occurred a day after the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped the hammer on four Philadelphia men, charging them for their roles in a conspiracy to steal approximately $1.6 million worth of merchandise from 55 UPS warehouses.
Aboudramane Karamoko, 20; Sekou Fofanah, 20; Shamaire Brown, 19; and Quamaire Brown, 19, were charged in the District of New Jersey with one count of conspiracy to commit cargo theft. Karamoko was arrested on Nov. 15, in State College, Pa., while Fofanah, Brown and Brown were arrested on Nov. 16 in Philadelphia. All four defendants were detained.
According to CargoNet data as of Nov. 8, warehouses are the second biggest target of cargo theft, with 125 incidents tallied in the quarter to date, more than double the 56 recorded in the year prior.
“We appreciate law enforcement’s diligence in this investigation,” a UPS representative told Sourcing Journal. “As the investigation is ongoing, we’ll refer any questions to authorities.”
According to court filings and statements made in court, the defendants and others stole from UPS facilities nationwide from January 2021 through April 2023, including warehouses in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Rhode Island.
The four defendants and their conspirators would enter a targeted UPS facility usually overnight from late Saturday night into Sunday morning, when the warehouses are closed. They would either enter by breaking the window of the loading bay door or by prying the door up so that a smaller person could squeeze through.
Once inside, the suspects would look for parcels marked with “lithium-ion battery” warnings, which indicated that they contained high-value electronic devices, such as a cell phone. They would take the packages, which typically contained Apple products or other electronic devices, and flee by vehicle or on foot when law enforcement arrived. On at least one occasion, the defendants also stole a firearm from a UPS warehouse.
The conspirators would operate in teams of four to six, dressed all in black and wearing balaclavas or other face or head coverings.
The charge of conspiracy to commit cargo theft carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the amount of money involved in the offense, whichever is greater.
According to the DOJ complaint, the conspirators frequently used various group chats to communicate about the UPS warehouse burglaries. For example, on or about March 28, 2021, an uncharged co-conspirator in the “All Grind” group chat sent a message to the other members asking, “Ups ?” Quamaire then responded, “rn?” [right now?]. That same uncharged co-conspirator then replied, “Yeah.”
After burglarizing the UPS facilities, the conspirators would discuss the merchandise they stole by sending photographs in the group chats. Around June 7, 2022, two days after ransacking a warehouse in Monroe, N.J., Karamoko sent a picture to a group chat including Fofanah and Quamaire of a male wearing a mask and holding several Apple product containers.
In the chats, the conspirators would also express their desire to limit participation in the UPS burglaries to only those co-conspirators within the group chats. Additionally, the four charged would discuss their concerns regarding law enforcement in the chats.
U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, who serves the District of New Jersey, credited special agents of Homeland Security Investigations Newark, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Alfonso, with the investigation leading to the charges.