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Freight train looting causes millions in damage: "Maybe your package was there too"

2022-01-21T16:43:49.570Z

Freight train looting causes millions in damage: "Maybe your package was there too" Created: 01/21/2022, 17:29 By: Lisa Mayerhofer Train cargo thefts in Los Angeles © Ringo HW Chiu/picture alliance/dpa Will California become the Wild West again? The looting of freight trains has reached immeasurable proportions, especially in Los Angeles. The thieves have it very easy. Los Angeles - They are



Freight train looting causes millions in damage: "Maybe your package was there too"

Created: 01/21/2022, 17:29

By: Lisa Mayerhofer

Train cargo thefts in Los Angeles © Ringo HW Chiu/picture alliance/dpa

Will California become the Wild West again?

The looting of freight trains has reached immeasurable proportions, especially in Los Angeles.

The thieves have it very easy.

Los Angeles - They are images like in a post-apocalyptic film: train tracks lined with mountains of packaging boxes and carelessly scattered plastic parts, cosmetics and bottles.

In between people who are looking for usable goods in this garbage*.

Behind is the Los Angeles skyline.

The trash comes from the looting of freight trains that pass through the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The trains have to go slower there.

Perfect for thieves: they break open the wagons, open the packages and throw the things they don't need next to the tracks.

Then the homeless and people on low incomes search the remains for usable material.

Looting of Los Angeles freight trains has increased by 160 percent

"Everything comes by train - cell phones, Louis Vuitton handbags, designer clothes, toys, lawn mowers, electrical appliances, power tools," a 37-year-old man, who declined to be named, told the

LA Times

. He regularly comes to the tracks and once found a Louis Vuitton handbag and a robotic arm worth five figures, he told the newspaper. "We find something here and there and make money from it."

Thanks to countless sales platforms on the Internet, stolen goods can easily be sold again.

In addition, the thieves in California hardly have to fear harsh penalties - if they are caught at all if they open a wagon of the freight trains up to three kilometers long and steal the packages.

High inflation* and shortages of goods in the US are likely to further fuel looting.

According to the LA Times

, the American rail company Union Pacific has reported

a 160 percent increase in thefts in Lincoln Heights since December 2020.

This increase in crime has cost the company at least five million dollars in the past year.

"Maybe your package is one of the thousands we found on the tracks"

The problem first came to the attention of the media when photojournalist John Schreiber posted videos of the remains of the theft on Twitter.

Garbage lines the railroad tracks in Los Angeles © John Schreiber / Twitter

He wrote: "Are you missing a package?

Delayed shipment?

Maybe your package is one of the thousands we found on the tracks.

We're told this area was only cleaned 30 days ago, so what you're seeing was just the last month."

Spokesman: 90 shipping containers are looted every day

According to the writer, Lincoln Heights is just one of many areas affected by looting.

Union Pacific spokesman Adrian Guerrero estimates that 90 shipping containers are looted every day.

Most of them are organized gangs of thieves who have also recruited homeless people.

Union Pacific has therefore hired additional security personnel and wants to work with the local police.

In addition, the railroad company is demanding tougher action against the thieves* from the Los Angeles Attorney's Office.

*Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2022-01-21

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