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Packages, cardboard boxes discarded by thieves cover stretch of Los Angeles train tracks

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 1/14/2022 Jessica Schladebeck

Thousands of shredded cardboard boxes and packages left behind by a group of thieves covered a stretch of Union Pacific tracks where cargo trains stop and often unload their hauls.

The alarming scene was captured by CBSLA in a series of photographs and video footage published on Thursday. They show a massive amount debris, which includes both opened and unopened packages, dumped across a huge swath of tracks in downtown Los Angeles.

Union Pacific in a statement to the news station said it “is very concerned about the increased cargo thefts,” adding that it has already “taken several steps to address this criminal activity.”

Shredded boxes and packages are seen at a section of the Union Pacific train tracks in downtown Los Angeles Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Thieves have been raiding cargo containers aboard trains nearing downtown Los Angeles for months, leaving the tracks blanketed with discarded packages. © Ringo H.W. Chiu Shredded boxes and packages are seen at a section of the Union Pacific train tracks in downtown Los Angeles Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Thieves have been raiding cargo containers aboard trains nearing downtown Los Angeles for months, leaving the tracks blanketed with discarded packages.

Shredded boxes and packages are seen at a section of the Union Pacific train tracks in downtown Los Angeles Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Thieves have been raiding cargo containers aboard trains nearing downtown Los Angeles for months, leaving the tracks blanketed with discarded packages. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/)


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“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,” the statement continued. “We also will continue to work with our local law enforcement partners and elected leaders.”

Thieves have long been raiding the shipping containers — often grabbing for packages from retailers like Amazon, REI and others, destined for people all over the country. Items left on the tracks, including home COVID test kits, appear to be those the criminals had no interest in or believed to lack value.

A source with knowledge of the issue told CBSLA officials most recently cleaned the tracks just 30 days ago, and then again three months before that.

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