Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Union Pacific Railroad Train Thefts, Los Angeles

"Thieves in LA are looting freight trains filled with packages from UPS, FedEx and Amazon" by Matt McFarland and Cheri Mossburg, © CNN, January 15, 2022. (News Article)

"Photos and videos showing piles of empty boxes littered alongside rail tracks in Los Angeles County, California have gone viral as shipping companies say they've seen a dramatic spike in railroad theft. Some of the boxes are packages from companies like UPS, Amazon and FedEx. Union Pacific ... says it may avoid operating in Los Angeles County following the spike in thefts, which it blames on lax prosecution of crimes. The containers and trains are locked, but can be broken into ... 160% year-over-year increase in theft in LA county. ... a December 2020 special directive issued by District Attorney George Gascón that changed how low-level offenses are prosecuted has contributed to the uptick. Union Pacific said ... that in the last three months of the year it made over 100 arrests of 'active criminals vandalizing our trains' ... arrested individuals are released from custody within 24 hours ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"Like our customers, [Union Pacific] is now contemplating serious changes to our operating plans to avoid Los Angeles County."

Union Pacific Railroad Train Thefts, Los Angeles
Union Pacific Railroad Train Thefts, Los Angeles

Union Pacific Railroad Train Thefts, Los Angeles. ©Union Pacific 2022

"Criminals are caught and arrested, turned over to local authorities for booking, arraigned before the local courts, charges are reduced to a misdemeanor or petty offense, and the criminal is released after paying a nominal fine.These individuals are generally caught and released back onto the streets in less than twenty-four hours. Even with all the arrests made, the no-cash bail policy and extended timeframe for suspects to appear in court is causing re-victimization to UP by these same criminals. In fact, criminals boast to our officers that charges will be pled down to simple trespassing – which bears no serious consequence. Without any judicial deterrence or consequence, it is no surprise that over the past year UP has witnessed the significant increase in criminal rail theft described above."

[The Union Pacific Railroad is not affiliated with the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum or CPRR.org]