Amazon packages and materials litter the train tracks of Los Angeles in a new video that went viral this week. Thieves raided cargo containers in the area, making such a mess that the area looks more like a landfill than train yard.
The result is a sea of paper, cardboard, envelopes, and even a few unopened packages. There’s so much debris on the ground that it looks like a train shouldn’t even be able to pass through the tracks. Many of the packages bear the familiar Amazon logos, but other retailers such as REI lost cargo in the raid as well.
It’s unclear how often these train containers get raided by thieves. The sheer amount of trash suggests that the thefts occur often, but nobody can know for sure. No such city clean-up service exists for jobs like this; railroad workers must do the dirty job themselves.
Union Pacific has a Mess on Their Hands
The rail operator Union Pacific acknowledged the theft in a statement to a local news station. They claim to be taking steps to crack down on the crime.
To make matters worse, apparently the Los Angeles police do not respond to train robberies unless the train company specifically requests help. In other words, it’s the wild west out there in the train yard. No real laws or ramifications seem to exist, so any number of people — homeless, thieves, or even railroad employees themselves — could be to blame here.
Union Pacific claims that they cleared the entire rail station just a month ago, which would mean that the problem is incredibly severe. If the yard was clean just 30 days ago, and now it looks like it does, then some significant raiding happened since then.
“These rail crimes pose a serious safety threat to the public, our employees and local law enforcement officers,” Union Pacific said in a statement to the outlet.
“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.”
Thieves are Becoming More Brazen in California
The rash of thefts come as California experiences spikes in brazen crime as of late. Just days ago, footage of a massive, organized smash-and-grab burglary of a jewelry store surfaced out of San Jose. The store reported nearly $100,000 in losses due to the crime.
The gang of ten or so thieves smashed display cases for thirty seconds. They took everything in sight before fleeing the scene. The store actually hosted three different retailers. So the thieves managed to snag a larger amount of merchandise than if they had robbed a regular store.
The San Jose Police Department said the robbery resembled a takeover more so than a smash-and-grab because the thieves used crowd control tactics.
“A takeover robbery is very different from a standard smash-and-grab,” Officer Steve Aponte said.
“These individuals actually forced their way into the store. And by saying takeover robbery, they demanded everybody to get on the ground. They forced people who were present, including staff members, to do their will,” he said.