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Sheriff’s Department sends warning to semi truck drivers that thieves are targeting a costly part

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. ( — The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is warning the community of a rise in local and national thefts involving a costly semi truck part.

BE AWARE,” the department wrote in a Tweet Thursday afternoon, sending a warning to semi truck owners to pay closer attention to their parked rigs.

“Trucks are being targeted anywhere they’re parked & left unoccupied. Many thefts have occurred at repair shops, truck yards, or even dirt lots used to store parked trucks,” the Tweet said.

The common powertrain controller (CPC4) is the brain of the vehicle, and when removed, the semi-truck cannot operate without a CPC, which controls various engine and powertrain functions.

Earlier this year,  Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), North America’s leading heavy-duty vehicle manufacturer, announced the launch of a broad company initiative to fight the pervasive theft of common powertrain controller (CPC4) modules from its vehicles.

With a chip shortage causing a backorder of the part, thieves are reprogramming the CPC4 and flipping it for quick cash and causing hurt to those owners/operators who can’t dish out thousands to replace it.

“The theft of CPC modules is a crime that threatens the livelihood of customers and disrupts our dealers’ operations,” said Paul Romanaggi, Chief Customer Experience Officer of DTNA in the company’s press release issued earlier this year.

“The company will additionally evaluate and pursue as necessary civil actions for software infringement against those involved in CPC theft and mismanagement,” the company said a their announcement.

DTNA is further collaborating with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to assist in the investigation and prosecution of CPC theft.

In response, DTNA has instituted the following anti-theft measures:   

  • Asking all customers and dealers to report stolen CPCs to both local law enforcement and DTNA at 1-800-FTL-HELP. 
  • Recommending all dealerships, customers and repair facilities cross reference vehicle identification numbers from CPCs brought in for installation against the company’s database of CPCs to ensure the CPC hasn’t been stolen or illicitly sold. 
  • Providing tracking capability through DTNA Service Systems to detect any stolen CPC attempting to be installed on a different VIN.
  • Asking any dealership or repair facility with a CPC confirmed stolen to report it to both their local police agency and DTNA.
  • Recommending all fleets and customers password-protect their CPCs.

Reporting the incident to Daimler Truck North America may prevent thieves from re-programming the device for resale.

Anyone with information regarding theft of CPC’s are urged to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

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