Thieves stole a big rig in Corona loaded with more than $40,000 in Monster Energy drinks, emptying the rig before abandoning it in another city, authorities said Wednesday.
"There was nothing left in there," Corona police Sgt. Paul Mercado told City News Service. "They took it all."
According to police, the tractor-trailer was parked in a dirt lot on Sherborn Street Monday afternoon and left there with cases full of Monster drinks, valued at $42,438, packed inside the locked trailer. When the driver returned to make his runs about 4 a.m. Tuesday, the truck was gone.
Detectives turned to social media to generate tips. The truck cab was located Tuesday night in Jurupa Valley. However, the trailer didn't turn up until hours later in Fontana -- without any of the merchandise inside it, and no sign of suspects, investigators said.
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Dennis Cole, the owner of the trucking company, said he was going to lose $10,000 a month because of the theft.
"It's not fair to me, I didn't do anything," he said. "Just a hard working guy trying to make a living in hard times."
Crime technicians have scoured the big rig in search of clues, but police haven't disclosed what if anything was found.
Investigators think the thieves knew exactly what they were doing.
"Given the fact that the trailer contained over 28 plus pallets of energy drinks, you can't just unload that manually," said Det. John Samano of Corona Police Department. "You would require some sort of a equipment, maybe a forklift."
Samano said the thieves will most likely sell the drinks on Craigslist or at a swap meet to make a quick profit.
"These are the items that you, as a consumer, are going to come and say, 'Wow, I'm only going to pay four bucks for a case when normally I would have to pay $25 at the grocery store,'" he said.
Monster, the trucking company's biggest client, has since cancelled its contract, Cole said. Two of his employees are now out of work.
"The thing that these people who steal don't understand is that the people they steal from how bad they hurt them," he said. "It's hard times."
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective John Samano at (951) 736-2282.
City News Service contributed to this report.