The reported theft of a tractor-trailer carrying about $8.8 million in pharmaceutical drugs from a truck stop in Georgia has prompted an investigation, authorities said Wednesday.

The stolen 2007 Peterbilt 18-wheeler was valued at $100,000, Temple Police Chief Ed Whitt said. He said the medication it was hauling included blood thinners and cold and nasal medicine. The theft happened Friday night at the Pilot truck stop off Interstate 20.

He said the driver had picked up the load in the Atlanta area and had stopped at the Temple truck stop to take a shower, and had locked the truck and taken the keys with him.

In addition to local authorities, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI are involved in the investigation, said GBI spokesman John Bankhead. The GBI, working with state and local agencies, manages a major theft unit that works cargo theft cases, Bankhead said.

Authorities say they don’t know if the thieves were aware of the cargo when they targeted the rig. “We are hoping this is not a trend or a ring involved given the load that was stolen,” Whitt said.

It was the second theft of a tractor-trailer at the truck stop in recent months. Whitt said in May another driver stopped for a shower and returned to find his rig gone. He was not hauling any cargo.

RNT