Thieves Steal Directly from Freight Trains in California

Package debris alongside a train track in Los Angeles, Calif. (via Twitter/@johnschreiber)

The CBS affiliate in Los Angeles has a story about thieves stealing goods directly from stopped trains. The pictures are jarring, and the video segment is worth watching in full (it’s less than three minutes long).

Here’s a brief video from CBSLA photojournalist John Schreiber:

The tracks are owned by Union Pacific. The CBSLA report says:

Sources told CBSLA that the locks Union Pacific uses are easy to cut, and officials with the Los Angeles Police Department said they don’t respond to reports of a train robbery unless Union Pacific asks them for help, which they said is rare.

Union Pacific has its own police force, and it told CBSLA that it would increase patrols and use technology to help crack down on the thefts.

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These thefts are ongoing, and they have been happening for over a month. According to the report:

While CBSLA was on the scene with cameras, one person was seen running off with a container used to hold smaller packages, and a Union Pacific officer was spotted chasing after two other people who appeared to be rifling through packages.

CBSLA also obtained video of University of Southern California Campus Police arresting a suspected thief last month. According to officers, the suspect’s bag was filled with stolen goods taken from the train tracks.

A source with knowledge of the issue told CBSLA that Union Pacific cleaned up this area of tracks three months ago, and again only about 30 days ago, though the area is already littered with new discarded boxes.

As conservatives, it’s tempting to say, “Told you so.” California progressives have been soft on crime, and they’re reaping what they have sown. But 40 percent of American imports come through the Los Angeles port complex. This episode illustrates one way that the entire country suffers from the breakdown of the rule of law in California. It’s in all of our best interest that California be better governed, and conservatives shouldn’t give up hope on restoring some sanity there.

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