The New Jersey General Assembly approved legislation cracking down on cargo theft, according to a bill co-sponsor Assemblyman Dave Rible (R).

“Roughly $1 billion worth of goods is stolen from New Jersey roads before it hits the stores. This is a very serious crime that puts lives at risk and deals a devastating blow to the economy, increasing prices of clothing, food, pharmaceuticals and just about any product delivered by truck,” Rible said in a statement.

The bill would make it a criminal offense to operate a facility to sell or store stolen cargo and increase fines to up to five times the value of the property seized, according to a statement.

Cargo theft in the state increased 147% from 2009 to 2010, according to Transport Topics, with Hudson and Middlesex counties ranking among the top-10 risk zones for cargo theft in the country.