Monday, January 24, 2022

Thieves in LA are robbing freight trains loaded with packages from UPS, FedEx and Amazon

Photos and videos showing empty boxes piled along railroad tracks in Los Angeles County, Calif., are gaining attention online as shipping companies say they have seen a dramatic increase in rail thefts. Some boxes are packages from companies like UPS, Amazon, and FedEx.

US Union Pacific, one of the largest railroad companies in the U.S., says it may avoid operations in Los Angeles County following an increase in thefts It places the blame on the loose prosecution of offences. Containers and trains are closed, but they can be broken.

Union Pacific said in a letter to the Los Angeles District Attorney last month that it saw a 160% year-over-year increase In burglary in LA County. The company claims that a December 2020 special directive issued by District Attorney George Gascon that changed how low-level crimes are prosecuted has contributed to the rise.

Union Pacific said in its letter that in the last three months of the year it has made more than 100 arrests of “active criminals sabotaging our trains” in partnership with the LA Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. But Union Pacific, which has its own police department with more than 32,000 miles of track, said that even though it has expanded its security resources and partnered more closely with local law enforcement, the problem is not going away. Is. It states that persons are released from custody within 24 hours of being arrested.

Crime is linked to an increase in poverty, which has increased during the pandemic. The county’s directive was intended to deal with the social evils that come from misdemeanor punishment, such as difficulties with employment, housing, education, government benefits, and immigration.

“The study shows that the prosecution of crimes driving large-scale misdemeanor cases has minimal, or even negative, long-term impact on public safety,” Gascon said when the directive was issued.

Gascon Special Adviser Alex Bastian, when reached for comment, said: “Our office is committed to working with law enforcement to ensure collective safety across Los Angeles County’s vast infrastructure, whether at our ports or rails. on the tracks.”

“Some cases submitted by Union Pacific to our office have been filed, such as theft and grand theft, while others have been denied due to insufficient evidence. We decide to charge based on the evidence. Ours The office takes Union Pacific’s concerns seriously and looks forward to discussing the issue further in the coming weeks.”

“While we understand the policy’s well-thought-out social justice goals, we need our justice system to support our partnership efforts with local law enforcement, hold these criminals accountable, and most importantly, our employees and critical help protect the local and national rail network,” Guerrero said.

The Association of American Railroads expressed concern over the increase in crime.

“In coordination with local law and where necessary federal law enforcement partners, the industry is committed to pursuing all methods necessary to address this criminal behavior,” spokesman Ted Greiner said in a statement.


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