Investigators use GPS to track down truckload of stolen beef

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

Investigators said a ring of thieves stole a massive refrigerated truck loaded with thousands of dollars' worth of beef.

The group managed to get rid of the truck and was storing the meat in an unrefrigerated warehouse to sell later, investigators said.

Brad Bateman is a meat broker with North South Foods. He told Channel 9's Renee Stoll that beef theft is big business.

"It's something we see quite often," said Bateman.

According to reports, a truck was stolen out of a parking lot in Osceola County, with nearly $250,000 worth of meat inside.

The truck was found empty in Seminole County.

Willy Peralta with Sanford Supermarket told Stoll that some of his own delivery drivers have been robbed.

"Some of them have been stuck up for their truck and some of them, people just get in their trucks and drive off," said Peralta.

According to Bateman, it's not unusual for some of the beef to contain a GPS device.

"Somewhere in the palettes or in the product, because most the time the trucks are found but the meat is missing," said Bateman.

That's how investigators were able to track the meat to a warehouse in Orlando.

Investigators said four people were caught using a forklift to unload the meat from a U-Haul. They said the meat was ready to be sold on the black market.

"Selling it to small discount stores," said Peralta. "Going into a neighborhood and unloading it for cash."

Peralta said that black market meat can be extremely dangerous and loaded with bacteria because it's rarely refrigerated.

"You don't know what grade it is," said Peralta. "You won't even know what that meat was going to be processed for."