As it happens, this was not an isolated occurrence and the rail line Union Pacific is none too happy about it. An official high up in the company wrote a letter to the District Attorney in Los Angeles County demanding that something be done about the situation.
Adrian Guerrero, general director of public affairs, sent a letter to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gasc?n demanding his office stop the “spiraling crisis of organized and opportunistic criminal rail theft.”
Shockingly, Guerrero revealed that “over 90 containers are compromised per day.”
“Since December 2020, UP has experienced an over 160% increase in criminal rail theft in Los Angeles County. In several months during that period, the increase from the previous year surpassed 200%. In October 2021 alone, the increase was 356% over compared to October 2020,” Guerrero explained. “Not only do these dramatic increases represent retail product thefts – they include increased assaults and armed robberies of UP employees performing their duties moving trains.”
Criminals are caught and arrested, turned over to local authorities for booking, arraigned before the local courts, charges are reduced to a misdemeanor or petty offense, and the criminal is released after paying a nominal fine. These individuals are generally caught and released back onto the streets in less than twenty-four hours. Even with all the arrests made, the no-cash bail policy and extended timeframe for suspects to appear in court are causing re-victimization to UP by these same criminals. In fact, criminals boast to our officers that charges will be pled down to simple trespassing – which bears no serious consequence. Without any judicial deterrence or consequence, it is no surprise that over the past year UP has witnessed the significant increase in criminal rail theft described above.
According to Guerrero, UPS and FedEx, which utilize Union Pacific’s rail services, are seeking to divert their business away from Los Angeles County — and Union Pacific may join them.
“Like our customers, UP is now contemplating serious changes to our operating plans to avoid Los Angeles County,” Guerrero wrote, adding that such a “drastic change” would significantly impact the national supply chain.
Perhaps that is what it is going to take for the disastrous policies of no bail and pleading down charges so that career criminals are out on the streets causing more havoc and misery. The money must be withdrawn.
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