Trucks inside of fence with AMAROK voltage sign

CPC Theft – 7 Tips to Protect Your Trucks

Table of Contents:

As a company in the trucking industry – protecting your trucks is a top priority. Any sort of damage is a headache whether you sell, service, or store. 

For truck dealers – it’s profits that take the hit. Best case, it’s a truck that hasn’t been sold yet – worst case, it’s a truck recently sold pending pick up. Not only can you not sell that truck but it’s going to sit on your property taking up space and preventing you from bringing new inventory on-site. 

For truck service – it’s your reputation on the line.

Your customers trust that when they drop their trucks off to be serviced by your team they’ll pick them up in better condition than when they left them. Not only will they think twice about doing business with you in the future, but it’s possible they’ll share the experience with their network of truckers. 

And if your business relies on trucks to do business well you can guarantee productivity will decrease until you can seek parts and repairs.

What is a CPC Module?

A CPC Module, or Common Powertrain Controller, is often referred to as the “brain” of a truck. It controls the truck’s powertrain and other various engine functions. Without it, a vehicle is inoperable.

Why is CPC Theft on the Rise Right Now?

Since COVID, a chip shortage has bottlenecked the process of getting CPCs from manufacturers both foreign and domestic. Suddenly, the demand for computer chips has far outpaced supply, making them a hot commodity and giving rise to the boom of CPC theft.

When it can take months to get a CPC module that’s on backorder, thieves are seizing the opportunity to provide a valuable item – at a huge markup – to a customer base that is desperate to keep their trucks running.

The largest known theft of CPCs occurred in April 2022, when two dozen trucks up for auction in Pennsylvania were hit by CPC thieves. CPC theft is also happening at dealerships, customer terminals, and truck servicing businesses across the country.

We saw the same trend with catalytic converter theft, which has been a big problem for trucking businesses and others that depend on trucks to deliver products or services. While the rate at which CPC theft is being reported continues to grow, it may never be as prevalent as catalytic converter theft. Catalytic converters will always be easier to steal since they’re accessible from outside the vehicle and quicker to turn into cash because of their general application. With that said, CPC module theft is proving to have a more detrimental impact on its victims than catalytic converter theft and thus should be taken very seriously.

The Uptick in CPC Theft is Due to Four Factors:

1. Microchip Shortage

Since COVID-19 hit in 2020, microchip manufacturers have not been able to keep up with demand. Due to factory closures and other bottlenecks caused by COVID-19, microchips are in short supply, making them increasingly valuable on the black market. According to Autoworld, the shortage isn’t about to let up anytime soon.

2. Valuable Metals in CPC Modules

CPC modules and the microchips in them contain precious metals that are highly prized on the black market, including gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper, and more.

3. Quick and Easy to Steal

It only takes a couple of minutes and simple tools to steal a CPC module out of a parked truck. Unfortunately for truck owners, thieves leave behind smashed windows, damaged dashboards, and broken wire harnesses in the process.

4. High Markup

CPC modules are selling for two to three times their value on the black market. Thieves can get $4,000 to $8,000 for a CPC when a new unit sells for $1,400 to $1,600.

What is the Cost of CPC Theft?

In addition to the cost of replacing the unit itself, a CPC theft could leave you dealing with delays, a drop in productivity and revenue, repair costs for your trucks, and more.

Tips to Protect Your Trucks from CPC Theft

While key players in the industry continue efforts to stop truck CPC module theft there is no apparent end in sight. The chip shortage will carry on into 2023 and criminals will get more and more creative. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to take back control.

Whether your trucks are on-site or on the road, we have tips for protecting them from CPC module theft. 

1. Create Awareness with Your People

Share the theft threat with your employees. When your people are aware of the heightened risk – they can take proactive steps to help protect property. Remind them when leaving trucks unattended even for a short amount of time to turn the vehicle off, take the keys with them, and lock the doors behind them. Encourage them to report any signs of property trespassing or damage as it could signal security weakness. And always shut, lock and arm gates (if applicable)!

2. Encourage Route Planning & Safe Parking Sites 

While your site is a bigger target due to the volume of trucks – your property is still at risk when on the road. Certain routes and parking lots are more remote than others. If possible – locate safer, well-lit, well-traveled routes and parking lots when off-site.

3. Install and Set Vehicle Alarms

To take a CPC from a truck, criminals need to access the inside dashboard. Certain anti-theft and vehicle alarm systems could encourage criminals to go elsewhere if sound.

4. Talk to Neighbors

If your neighbors are experiencing property crime – you could be next. Stay friendly and communicative with businesses next door so they share this type of insight with you. Connect with other local trucking businesses to see what preventative measures they’ve taken. Reach out to your local police department to make them aware of the crime trend and request they increase nighttime patrol.

Incidents of CPC theft for trucks and other vehicles should be reported to Daimler Truck North America who is working to track the threat. Learn how.

5. Increase Property Lighting 

Criminals stealing CPCs know precisely what they’re looking for and where to find it – but they don’t want to be caught doing it. By keeping your site well-lit – you may discourage CPC thieves from targeting your business.

6. Install Updated Cameras

Most security camera systems need to be updated every few years, but many businesses forego it as the expense can be hefty. Though sometimes the visible presence of cameras is enough to turn criminals who don’t want to be caught away – they’re not always an effective deterrent. For example, cameras capture footage of the theft but don’t catch the criminal or get your property back.

7. Beef Up Perimeter Security

Nearly half of reported incidents of trucking-related theft take place in commercial truck yards. A perimeter security solution that allows you to keep criminals from even stepping foot on your property will be more effective than anything else at deterring semitruck CPC theft.

The only perimeter security solution on the market that is 98% effective at preventing property crime, like CPC module theft, is the Electric Guard Dog™ Fence . Any attempt to cut or spread the fence will result in a 7,000 -volt shock that will send criminals targeting CPCs to the next victim. With this system, cameras and lighting integrate to create an even more effective security solution.

From what we’ve heard from CPC theft victims– it’s the indirect costs like lost productivity or damaged reputation, not the direct costs like replacements or repairs that hurt their business the most. Want to learn more about the cost your business could face if targeted by CPC theft? See our True Cost of CPC Theft worksheet or submit for a Custom Threat Assessment with our security team.


AMAROK™ is a full-perimeter security company based in Columbia, South Carolina, that provides commercial security services throughout the United States and Canada. Specializing in electric fencing and perimeter security systems for commercial properties, AMAROK also provides supplemental surveillance solutions, including cameras, lights, and alarms. Together, these business security services form the ultimate crime prevention solution for any business. 

The Ultimate Perimeter Solution

AMAROK is the ultimate perimeter security solution because it deters thieves, so there is no need to deal with the aftermath of a crime. AMAROK deters criminals in three ways; a shock deterrent, a physical deterrent, and an alarm deterrent. Installing The Electric Guard Dog Fence™ system is an effective way to prevent theft or vandalism at your business.


Even though professional monitoring speeds up police response time, criminals may still be able to breach your perimeter and enter your property. That’s why AMAROK developed FORTIFEYE. FORTIFEYE is the world‘s first integration of electric security fencing, video surveillance, and video monitoring solution to create the ultimate crime prevention solution for your commercial business or industrial site. Contact us today.