they loot trains with packages from UPS, FedEx and Amazon

(CNN) — Photos and movies exhibiting piles of empty bins dumped alongside practice tracks in California’s Los Angeles County have gone viral as transportation firms say they’ve seen a dramatic rise in practice theft. Some of the bins are packages from firms like UPS, Amazon and FedEx.

Union Pacific, one of many nation’s largest rail firms, says it could keep away from working in Los Angeles County following a surge in thefts, which it blames on negligence in prosecuting crimes. Containers and trains are locked, however will be damaged into.

The firm mentioned final month in a letter to the Los Angeles district lawyer that it noticed a 160% annual enhance in thefts in Los Angeles County. The firm claims {that a} particular directive issued in December 2020 by District Attorney George Gascon that modified the best way low-level crimes are prosecuted contributed to the rise.

Union Pacific mentioned in its letter that within the final three months of the 12 months it made, in partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, greater than 100 arrests of “active criminals who wrecked our trains.”

But the corporate, which has its personal police division with jurisdiction over the greater than 52,000 km of roads it owns, mentioned that whereas it has expanded its safety sources and partnered extra carefully with native regulation enforcement, the issue isn’t going to go away. . After being arrested, individuals are launched inside 24 hours, he mentioned.

Crime is related to will increase in poverty, which elevated through the pandemic. The county directive was meant to fight the social ills that come from misdemeanor convictions, corresponding to difficulties with employment, housing, training, authorities advantages and immigration.

“Studies show that the prosecution of the crimes that generate the majority of misdemeanor cases have minimal, or even negative, long-term impacts on public safety,” Gascon mentioned when the directive was issued. (His workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.)

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

Attacks on avenue distributors on the rise in California 3:46

The Association of American Railroads expressed concern about rising crime.

“In coordination with local law and, when necessary, federal law enforcement partners, the industry is committed to pursuing all avenues necessary to address this criminal behavior,” spokesman Ted Greener mentioned in an announcement.

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