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Brazen big-rig hijacking on busy freeway

March 4, 2009 9:17:39 AM PST
The driver is safe, but his cargo is gone after a brazen big-rig hijacking in Whittier early Wednesday morning.Police said the driver had just picked up his cargo and was traveling northbound on the 605 Freeway near Whittier Boulevard at about 1 a.m. Two other big-rigs allegedly got on either side of him, flanked his truck, and forced him over to the side of the road.

Three men forced the victim out of his cab, tied him up and left him on the side of the road before taking off with his truck and the cargo it was hauling.

Passing motorists called 911 to report a man bound at the legs hobbling down the road. California Highway Patrol found the victim, untied him and scoured the area.

Police found a portion of the stolen tractor-trailer at about 7 a.m. Wednesday not far from where it was hijacked, but the cargo, a trailer full of energy-efficient light bulbs, appeared to be long gone.

"All three trucks left together. We had several highway patrol men all throughout the Southern California region, standing by on freeways looking for these trucks, but to no avail at this point," said CHP Officer Joe Zizi.

The victim was not seriously injured and did not want to be hospitalized. CHP said he just wanted to get home to his family as quickly as possible.

Even veteran CHP officers said they have never seen anything quite like this. The search continues for the three suspects and the cargo they got away with.

One truck is a white semi, and the other a red semi pulling a white trailer.

Anyone with information is urged to call CHP at (800) TELL-CHP.


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