Thieves in L.A. are looting freight trains stuffed with packages from UPS, FedEx and Amazon

Photos and movies exhibiting piles of empty bins littered alongside rail tracks in Los Angeles County, Calif. are attracting consideration on-line as transport corporations say they’ve seen a dramatic spike in railroad theft. Some of the bins are packages from corporations like UPS, Amazon and FedEx.

Union Pacific, one of many largest railroad corporations within the U.S., says it could keep away from working in Los Angeles County following the spike in thefts, which it blames on lax prosecution of crimes. The containers and trains are locked, however could be damaged into.

Union Pacific stated final month in a letter to the Los Angeles District Attorney that it noticed a 160% year-over-year enhance in theft in L.A. County. The firm claims {that a} December 2020 particular directive issued by District Attorney George Gascón that modified how low-level offenses are prosecuted has contributed to the uptick.

Union Pacific stated in its letter that within the final three months of the 12 months it revamped 100 arrests of “active criminals vandalizing our trains” in partnership with the L.A. police division and Los Angeles Sherriff division. But Union Pacific, which has its personal police division with jurisdiction over the 32,000 miles of tracks it owns, stated that even because it has expanded its safety assets and partnered extra carefully with native legislation enforcement, the issue is not going away. After being arrested people are launched from custody inside 24 hours, it stated.

Crime is related to will increase in poverty, which has elevated in the course of the pandemic. The county’s directive was supposed to fight social ills that come from misdemeanor convictions, comparable to difficulties with employment, housing, training, authorities advantages and immigration.

“Studies show that prosecution of the offences driving the bulk of misdemeanor cases have minimal, or even negative, long-term impacts on public safety,” Gascón stated when the directive was issued.

“Our office is committed to working with law enforcement to ensure collective safety across Los Angeles County’s sprawling infrastructure, whether it’s at our ports or on railroad tracks,” Alex Bastian, particular adviser to Gascón, stated when reached for remark.

“Some cases presented to our office by Union Pacific have been filed, such as burglary and grand theft, while others have been declined due to insufficient evidence. We make charging decisions based on the evidence. Our office takes Union Pacific’s concerns seriously and hopes to discuss this issue more in the coming weeks,” he added.

“While we understand the well-intended social justice goals of the policy, we need our justice system to support our partnership efforts with local law enforcement, hold these criminals accountable, and most important, help protect our employees and the critical local and national rail network,” Guerrero stated.

The Association of American Railroads expressed concern concerning the crime enhance.

“In coordination with local law and where necessary federal law enforcement partners, the industry is committed to pursuing all avenues necessary to address this criminal behavior,” spokesman Ted Greener stated in a press release.

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