Union Pacific Railroad called out Democratic Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón and asserted that his policies are to blame for rampant train robberies in a letter to the DA shared Friday on Twitter.
The letter, dated Dec. 20 of last year, indicated that “on average, over 90 containers are compromised per day.” The letter also noted a 160% increase in criminal rail theft in Dec. 2020 and a 356% increase from Oct. 2020 to Oct. 2021.
In addition, the letter stated that over 100 arrests have been made in relation to train vandalism, with the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol getting involved in the cases.
The letter also cited the district attorney’s no-cash bail policy as a reason for repeat offenses.
Letter from @UnionPacific to @LADAOffice on rise in train robberies. 90 containers breached a day, theft up 356% says UP. UP considering rerouting it’s trains out of LA county. UP asks DA to be harder on theives. Says they’re back out on the tracks a day after released. @CBSLA pic.twitter.com/SRNFYkPtiq
— Kristine Lazar (@CBSLAKristine) January 14, 2022
“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 [Union Pacific] by these same criminals,” the letter reads in part. “Without any judicial deterrence or consequence, it is no surprise that over the past year [Union Pacific] has witnessed the significant increase in criminal rail theft described above.” (RELATED: 50 ‘Juveniles’ Swarm Public Train, Rob People On Board)
The district attorney’s office responded to the letter, releasing a statement to CBS Los Angeles investigative reporter Kristine Lazar, who shared the statement on Twitter.
The district attorney’s office claimed they were working with law enforcement to “ensure safety” and were “making charging decisions based on evidence.”
— Kristine Lazar (@CBSLAKristine) January 15, 2022
Lupe Valdez, a spokeswoman for Union Pacific said the situation regarding rail theft was “just unheard of,” and that consumers are “paying the price,” according to CBS Los Angeles.
Another report on the increasing rail theft from CBS Los Angeles indicated that Union Pacific’s chief will meet with LAPD this week.
A film crew for CBS Los Angeles recently caught footage of a plethora of stolen packages on the train tracks at Lincoln Heights.
Union Pacific Railroad posted a story about the rampant rail crime on their website, noting they have increased police presence and are using drone surveillance, specialized fencing, and trespass-detection systems to monitor the situation.