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la: Thieves loot freight trains in Los Angeles with impunity – Instances of India

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LOS ANGELES -Dozens of freight automobiles are damaged into daily on Los Angeles’s railways by thieves who reap the benefits of the trains’ stops to loot packages purchased on-line, leaving hundreds of gutted bins and merchandise that can by no means attain their locations.
Based on the tags discovered Friday by an AFP staff on a monitor close to the town heart — which was simply accessible from close by streets — many main US mail order and courier corporations equivalent to Amazon, Goal, UPS and FedEx are being hit by the thefts, which have exploded in current months.
The thieves wait till the lengthy freight trains are immobilized on the tracks, after which climb onto the freight containers, whose locks they simply break with the assistance of bolt cutters.
They then assist themselves to parcels, ditching any merchandise which can be tough to maneuver or re-sell, or are too low-cost, equivalent to Covid-19 check kits, furnishings or medicines.
Rail operator Union Pacific has seen a 160 % rise within the thefts in Los Angeles county since December 2020.
“In October 2021 alone, the rise was 356 % in comparison with October 2020,” UP stated in a letter to the native authorities, seen by AFP.
The explosion in looting has been accompanied by an upsurge in “assaults and armed robberies of UP workers performing their duties shifting trains,” the letter stated.
The phenomenon spiked just lately with the height of exercise linked to Christmas buying.
Based on figures reported by UP, greater than 90 containers had been vandalized daily on common in Los Angeles County within the final quarter of 2021.
To fight the development, Union Pacific says it has strengthened surveillance measures — together with drones and different detection techniques — and recruited extra safety employees for its tracks and convoys.
Police and safety brokers have arrested greater than 100 individuals within the final three months of 2021 for “trespassing and vandalizing” Union Pacific trains.
“Whereas criminals are being caught and arrested, prices are diminished to a misdemeanor or petty offense, and the particular person is again on the streets in lower than 24 hours after paying a nominal fantastic,” stated a spokesman for the rail operator.
“In actual fact, criminals boast to our officers that there isn’t any consequence,” he stated.
Union Pacific wrote to the Los Angeles County legal professional’s workplace on the finish of December asking them to rethink a leniency coverage launched on the finish of 2020 for such offenses.
The operator estimates that damages from such thefts in 2021 amounted to some $5 million, including that the quantity in claims and losses “doesn’t embody respective losses to our impacted prospects” or the affect on Union Pacific’s operations and your complete Los Angeles County provide chain.

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