Images of thousands of stolen and discarded packages alongside the Union Pacific train tracks near Union Station have people around the world asking – how does this happen? Apparently, it’s a near perfect storm of an ongoing train robbery problem, the pandemic, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s policy of no-cash bail arrests.
“I have been with Union Pacific for 16 years, and I have never, ever seen this situation to this degree,” said Lupe Valdez, the company’s senior director of public affairs.
Valdez says, on average, 90 of their containers are compromised each day. But between October 2020 and October 2021, train robberies have picked up exponentially by a whopping 356%. Union Pacific has increased its enforcement and patrols, and has put drones to work, but now they are looking into diverting trains so they don’t pass through Los Angeles County at all.
“We are making arrests, but what our officers are seeing on the ground is that people are basically being arrested, there is no bail, they come out the next day and come back to rob our trains,” Valdez said…
“Even with all the arrests made, the no-cash bail policy and extended timeframe for suspects to appear in court is causing re-victimization to UP by these same criminals,” the letter says. “In fact criminals boast to our officers that charges will be pled down to simple trespassing – which bears no serious consequences.”
Life in America, eh? Or at least life in one of our most important cities.