Thieves raiding rail cargo containers in Los Angeles

Jan 14, 2022, 12:58 PM | Updated: 5:00 pm
Shredded boxes and packages are seen at a section of the Union Pacific train tracks in downtown Los...

Shredded boxes and packages are seen at a section of the Union Pacific train tracks in downtown Los Angeles Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Thieves have been raiding cargo containers aboard trains nearing downtown Los Angeles for months, leaving the tracks blanketed with discarded packages. The sea of debris left behind included items that the thieves apparently didn't think were valuable enough to take, CBSLA reported Thursday. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thieves have been raiding cargo containers aboard trains nearing downtown Los Angeles for months, taking packages belonging to people across the U.S. and leaving the tracks blanketed with discarded boxes.

The packages are from retailers including Amazon, REI and others, CBSLA reported Thursday. The sea of debris left behind includes items that the thieves apparently didn’t think were valuable enough to take.

While CBSLA cameras were on the scene, one person was spotted running off with a container used to hold small packages, and a Union Pacific railroad police officer was spotted pursuing two other people who were apparently going through packages.

The scene was the same in November, when NBC4 showed thousands of boxes discarded along the tracks lined with homeless encampments northeast of downtown in the Lincoln Park area.

Passing trains carried containers with doors wide open and packages tumbling out, NBC4 reported. Video showed two men, one holding what looked like bolt cutters, walking along the tracks, the station said.

Union Pacific said in a statement to CBSLA that the railroad was concerned about increased cargo thefts in California.

“We have increased the number of Union Pacific special agents on patrol, and we have utilized and explored additional technologies to help us combat this criminal activity. We also will continue to work with our local law enforcement partners and elected leaders,” the railroad said.

Amazon said it was directing inquiries to police. The United Parcel Service, UPS, declined to comment on investigations into the cargo thefts but said it was cooperating with authorities.

“The safety of our customers’ goods and our employees is our highest priority,” UPS said in a statement.

Luis Rosas, who makes about $20 an hour working for a company subcontracted by Union Pacific to salvage items from the tracks in the Los Angeles area, says he’s encountered the brazen thieves in action before. Using bolt cutters, they break locks on the containers and load up vans or trucks with the stolen merchandise.

Rosas has been doing this work almost daily for about six months and while he’s been told not engage in confrontations, he still feels afraid.

“They don’t even run off anymore. They do it right in front of us,” he told The Associated Press on Friday, wearing a bright yellow vest before he headed to work to pick up car tires along the tracks. “At first I was shocked. I was amazed by it.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

With a city skyline view, a DJ wearing a face mask performs music, during brunch, at a hotel in Dub...
Associated Press

Party-hard Dubai ponders new workweek debate: When’s brunch?

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Friday will never be the same again. For those with means in Dubai, the former first day of the weekend carried a gluttonous party tradition — an hourslong affair with infinite supply of seafood, pizza, dessert and Veuve Clicquot Champagne set to pulsing music known simply in this city-state […]
1 day ago
FILE - A nurse checks the weight of a child in the makeshift clinic organized by World Vision at a ...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Why effort to help Afghanistan is falling short

WASHINGTON (AP) — As winter deepens, a grim situation in Afghanistan is getting worse. Freezing temperatures are compounding misery from the downward spiral that has come with the fall of the U.S.-backed government and the Taliban takeover. Aid groups and international agencies estimate about 23 million people, more than half the country, face severe hunger […]
1 day ago
FILe - Florida Sen. Ray Rodrigues, center, views redistricting maps on a video monitor as an identi...
Associated Press

Democrats make surprising inroads in redistricting fight

NEW YORK (AP) — Democrats braced for disaster when state legislatures began redrawing congressional maps, fearing that Republican dominance of statehouses would tilt power away from them for the next decade. But as the redistricting process reaches its final stages, that anxiety is beginning to ease. For Democrats, the worst case scenario of losing well […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

This week: Fed meeting, inflation data, Apple earnings

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week: Fed meeting With inflation high and the economy strengthening, the Fed has made clear that it’s nearly ready to end its bond-buying program meant to keep longer-term rates low, as well as to raise short-term rates off their record low. […]
1 day ago
A man wearing a face mask walks near a money exchange office in downtown Seoul, South Korea, Monday...
Associated Press

Asian shares mixed, extending Wall Street losses

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed Monday in Asia after Wall Street logged its worst week since the pandemic began in 2020. Benchmarks declined in Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney but rose in Tokyo. Shanghai was little changed. U.S. futures were higher. Investors have been growing increasingly worried about how aggressively the Federal Reserve, which […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2018 file photo, with a downed power utility pole in the foreground, Eric E...
Associated Press

PG&E’s criminal probation to end amid ongoing safety worries

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric is poised to emerge from five years of criminal probation, despite worries that nation’s largest utility remains too dangerous to trust after years of devastation from wildfires ignited by its outdated equipment and neglectful management. The probation, set to expire at midnight Tuesday, was supposed to rehabilitate […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Arizona State University

This is the best year to get your MBA

Getting a master’s degree is a major commitment of time, energy, and money, so returning to school — even if you’re thinking about a part-time program that allows you to keep working — is one of the biggest decisions of your career.
...
PNC BANK

How your family can explore the Musical Instrument Museum

Whether you want to spend a day with family, do crafts with kids at home, or have an adult night out, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has options. As the world’s only global musical instrument museum, MIM offers interactive and immersive exhibits to foster an appreciation of different cultures and their instruments. “A visit […]
...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Thieves raiding rail cargo containers in Los Angeles