According to recent reports, thieves have been looting cargo containers aboard trains near downtown Los Angeles.
The majority of the packages being stolen are from Amazon.com Inc., United Parcel Service Inc., and FedEx Corporation.
Amazon said it was directing inquiries to the police.
Union Pacific Corporation, the railroad company which owns the tracks, estimates more than 90 packages are ransacked per day.
KCBS and KCAL photo journalist John Schreiber has been documenting the aftermath of the crimes on Twitter, sharing video of the area of the track where trains often stop, giving thieves a chance to break into railroad cars and steal the cargo.
UP said it saw a 160 percent year-over-year increase in theft in Los Angeles county. The company says it has increased the number of special agents assisting with crime on the tracks over the last three months and more than 100 arrests have been made related to vandalism.
UP’s state director of public affairs, Adrian Guerrero, says there have been an increasing number of assaults and armed robberies of UP employees performing their duties. Schreiber shared video showing the challenge agents face in confronting package thieves.
“Union Pacific is very concerned about the increased cargo thefts in California, and we have taken several steps to address this criminal activity,” said a company spokesperson.
UP says it needs the district attorney’s help, “While we understand the well-intended social justice goals of his Special Directive, we need the justice system in LA County to support law enforcement efforts to hold criminals accountable, while protecting Union Pacific employees and the supply chain,” the spokesperson added.
The Association of American Railroads expressed concern about the crime increase.
“In coordination with local law and where necessary federal law enforcement partners, the industry is committed to pursuing all avenues necessary to address this criminal behavior,” association spokesman Ted Greener said in a statement.
By Bibhu Pattnaik
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