Last year, aided and abetted by Democrat city and state leaders and their soft-on-crime prosecutors, crime sprees became something of a spectator sport. Viral videos showed dozens of people engaging in brazen smash and grab robberies of luxury goods in the Bay Area.
Companies such as CVS, Walgreens, and Target altered their operating hours and even closed locations after thieves would calmly shoplift and walk out the door without paying. Ritzy shopping centers such as The Grove in Los Angeles put up razor wire barricades in an attempt to dissuade would-be robbers from cleaning out merchandise. In all of these dystopian scenes, little if any punishment was ever handed down. Apparently thieves weren't content to stick with hitting high-end consumer outlets, though, and now they've spent months ransacking trains as they pass through Los Angeles.
Even as the powers that be in Los Angeles ignore the latest fad in illegal procurement of goods just as they did the smash and grabs, the videos from LA's railroad tracks speak for themselves:
Keep hearing of train burglaries in LA on the scanner so went to #LincolnHeights to see it all. And… there’s looted packages as far as the eye can see. Amazon packages, @UPS boxes, unused Covid tests, fishing lures, epi pens. Cargo containers left busted open on trains. @CBSLA pic.twitter.com/JvNF4UVy2K— John Schreiber (@johnschreiber) January 13, 2022
I’m told by law enforcement these @UPS bags are especially sought after by thieves opening cargo containers… they are often full of boxes with merchandise bound for residential addresses. More valuable than say, a cargo container full of low value bulky items like toilet paper. pic.twitter.com/Tj5bQNIeby— John Schreiber (@johnschreiber) January 13, 2022
This opened package from @REI destined for Bainbridge Island, WA was taken off a train. Typing in the @UPS tracking # and it obviously lists it as “delayed.” We found lots of opened packages bound for the Northwest along this section of tracks. pic.twitter.com/dO82QoJhTT— John Schreiber (@johnschreiber) January 13, 2022
It's pure insanity, but it's become par for the course in many liberal enclaves. Angelenos wondering why their amazon package or Wuhan coronavirus test never arrived should probably just start sifting through the packages strewn around on the train tracks — and there are thousands of them in just this one area documented in the tweets above.
The new M.O. for these thieves, apparently, is to wait until trains slow to a crawl — and often come to a stop — while being directed through LA's busy network of tracks, then break open the containers and cars containing packages and toss them out to sift through. The many unopened packages show that thieves are selective in what loot they ultimately take for resale or personal use, but it's clearly more than a random robbery.
Railroad giant Union Pacific has sought help from Los Angeles County prosecutors, but punishment for those laying siege to trains is something the "progressive" district attorney seems to be entirely uninterested in.
Last month, Union Pacific sent L.A. D.A. George Gascon a letter about the mass looting of their trains & expressed frustration with Gascon’s soft on crime policies. 100+ arrests, most suspects released within 24 hours on zero bail. UP now considering avoiding LA County. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/9UDRuHLvtd— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) January 15, 2022
In a December letter to the City of Angels' apparently un-angelic district attorney, Union Pacific asked for "leadership, attention, and immediate action to the spiraling crisis of organized and opportunistic criminal rail theft" plaguing the company's operations in and through Los Angeles. Rightly pointing out its work to move goods amid the supply chain crisis, Union Pacific notes added difficulties that arose given a "356% increase" in thefts from UP trains from October 2020 to October 2021. "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," their letter adds.
Dropping the hammer on woke prosecutors and their leniency, Union Pacific sharec its data and the damning result of the few attempts at accountability to dissuade criminal theft (emphasis original):
Over the past three months of intermodal peak season in preparation for holiday shopping, UP has had the following experience in Los Angeles County:
- On average, over 90 containers compromised per day.
- In partnership with Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD), and California Highway Patrol (CHP), we estimate over 100 arrests have been made of active criminals vandalizing our trains. UP alone making several dozens of arrests.
- With our law enforcement partners we have deterred hundreds of individuals from trespassing and vandalizing our trains.
- Of all those arrests, however, UP has not been contacted for any court proceedings.
And there you have it. Union Pacific and law enforcement are making arrests of at least some of the thieves, but there's apparently no further accountability to punish perpetrators or act as a disincentive to continue the looting. Union Pacific knows it, both first-hand as robberies continue and from the criminals themselves:
"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," UP's letter explains. "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. In fact, criminals boast to our officers that charges will be pled down to simple trespassing — which bears no serious consequence."
It's a formula that's playing out in and around many large cities as "social justice" corrupts the criminal justice system. It's a recipe for more lawlessness and anarchy, and the dystopian scenes playing out along LA railroads are just one anecdote that illustrates the damaging impact Democrat leadership has on law and order.