Law enforcement authorities are on the lookout for a scam allegedly run by a phony trucking company that has made off with more than a half dozen loads of produce.

In early April, the Ottawa -based Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corp. issued a memo alerting its members of the theft of six loads of tomatoes and one load of cucumbers loaded from Miami and Palmetto, Fla.

The memo identifies the trucking company as Miami-based E&A Transport Express Inc.

Shaun Leiker, assistant manager for the La Canada, Calif.-based Allen Lund Co. Inc.’s Orlando, Fla. office, said the third-party logistics company became worried when it lost contact with one of its drivers who claimed his truck broke down. Attempted communication with the trucking company also failed.

Leiker said his insurance company told him other brokers — Plant City, Fla.-based Sam Patterson Truck Brokers Inc. and Cincinnati-based Total Quality Logistics — had made inquiries about lost loads. Leiker said he believes the trucks were stolen in what he calls “a complete scam” that involved the drivers and a group of men acting like a trucking company.

“Venturing a guess because of the freezes, the tomato market was higher than normal,” Leiker said. “They are an easy and quick sale. I have to assume they had something in place already lined up to take these things.”

Though he has dealt with occasional theft, Leiker said he has never experienced such a large-scale heist of produce in his 20-plus years in truck brokering. He said thieves strike trucks normally for higher-dollar items such as copper wire, computers and pharmaceuticals.

“You usually don’t run into actual cargo theft on produce sales very often,” he said. “It’s a very select group that has a very short shelf life, so they have to be able to get rid of it quickly.”

Though information is forthcoming on the other four loads, the first load reported stolen was loaded in Miami and Okeechobee, Fla., bound for Detroit. The second load originated in Palmetto and was destined for Hartford, Conn while the third also bound for Hartford was loaded in Punta Gorda, Fla.

The DRC recommends parties with information on the thefts contact the Oviedo, Fla., police department and reference case number 2011-CJ-003481.