Police search for stolen truck carrying fertilizer, pesticide

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Police search for stolen truck carrying fertilizer, pesticide Copyright APonline

The Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (October 18, 2001 12:46 a.m. EDT) - Authorities issued a nationwide alert Wednesday for a tractor-trailer that was stolen in New Jersey and is carrying a load of fertilizer and pesticide.

The truck was stolen Tuesday night or Wednesday morning from a New Jersey trucking company located in Parsippany. State Police spokesman John Hagerty said police had no reason to suspect the truck, which had placards identifying its cargo as hazardous materials, was stolen by terrorists.

The theft comes amid heightened nationwide concern over the possible use of hazardous materials trucks in terrorist attacks. Only certain fertilizers are explosive when combined with other materials, and it was unclear what kind of fertilizer was in the stolen truck.

Gail Toth, executive director of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, said the truck might have been taken by someone who thought it contained valuables. She said New Jersey ranks third in the nation in cargo thefts, raising the possibility the thief was out for a quick score.

The 2000 Freightliner cab is yellow and has the word "Penske" on the side. It bears Indiana registration 171469. The 45-foot white trailer has "Rockland" in green letters on all four sides. It is a 1988 Freuhauf model with New Jersey registration T392VD.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 18, 2001


Fertilizer truck found in Hillside

Associated Press October 20, 2001

HILLSIDE -- Police yesterday found a truckful of fertilizer that had been reported stolen earlier this week. Hillside police found the trailer parked on the street in an industrial park yesterday afternoon, Parsippany Sgt. James Storms said. Police had located the cab from the stolen tractor-trailer in Elizabeth on Thursday.

Storms said the cargo appeared to be intact and said none of the fertilizer was missing.

State police had put out a nationwide alert for the 45-foot trailer as it tried to prevent future terror attacks in America. The theft caused concern because some fertilizers can be used to make crude explosives. Timothy McVeigh mixed a truckload of ammonium nitrate with motor fuel and blew up the Oklahoma City federal building six years ago.

"It's possible that when it hit such national attention, they just dropped it,'' Storms said.

No suspects have been arrested in the theft.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 20, 2001.

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