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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / California governor visits site of train thefts, announces funding to address issue (updated)

California governor visits site of train thefts, announces funding to address issue (updated)

By | January 21, 2022

Newsom says state will provide $255 million for local law enforcement

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Man in baseball cap carrying empty boxes
Man in baseball cap carrying empty boxes
California Gov. Gavin Newsom cleans up empty boxes at the site of a series of thefts from Union Pacific trains in Los Angeles during a visit on Thursday. Newsom announced funding to help combat the problem. (Office of the Governor of California, via Twitter)

LOS ANGELES — California Gov. Gavin Newsom visited the site of a series of much-publicized thefts from Union Pacific intermodal trains on Thursday, promising the state would provide $255 million over three years to help combat the problem.

The Los Angeles Daily News reports Newsom said the money will go to grants to local law-enforcement agencies, expanding an existing Organized Retail Theft Task Force.

“This is not a one-off — this is organized theft,” Newsom told a press conference. “These folks are arrested as if they’re not connected to the whole, and we need to change that.”

Another $18 million over three years will create a unit in the state attorney general’s office to investigate and prosecute cross-jurisdictional retail theft, he said.

Newsom also said the California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Police Department, LA County Sheriff’s Department, and Union Pacific police will work together on patrolling the area, and on investigations.

“We recognize that we need each other in terms of organizing a framework to support our efforts to hold folks to account and to secure these sites,” Newsom said, “and to hold folks accountable for the long haul.”

Assistant Chief Charlie Sampson of the CHP said the agency was creating a special task force assigned to the UP which would operate for 90 to 100 days, then assess its effectiveness.

On Thursday’s earnings call, UP CEO Lance Fritz also noted the organized nature of the problem.

“Something that used to be a nuisance, call it two years ago, members in a neighborhood would see a train not moving and might take advantage of trying to pop open a box to see what’s inside. Today that’s more organized,” Fritz saya.
“We’ve got our arms around it, we’ve cleaned up the area, and we’re going to be enhancing security in the area. We’re going to put physical security barriers in place. It’s unfortunate. It won’t necessarily be pretty. But it will protect our property and more importantly it will protect our employees,” Fritz says. “That’s probably the biggest concern I’ve had … we hate impacting our customers. We really can’t stomach putting our employees at risk.”
— Updated at 1:30 p.m. CST with Fritz comments




23 thoughts on “California governor visits site of train thefts, announces funding to address issue (updated)

  1. Here’s an idea Gavin. Talk to your progressive liberal DA’s (elected courtesy of George Soros) about prosecuting thieves instead of giving them free reign. Right now, they have nothing to fear, so why would they stop? And how about cracking down on how the stolen goods are sold. I’ll bet eBay is rife with postings featuring those stolen goods. Wonder if these lowlifes are using social media to announce a stopped intermodal train that’s ready to be attacked. Maybe Twitter and Facebook could take a break from stifling conservatives, and spend that effort on ferreting out these thieves.

    1. Wrong, the only people to blame for this fiasco is the citizens of this state that voted to pass the 2 propositions that 1. raised to $950 the amount that qualifies as a misdemeanor instead of a felony, and 2. reduced the length of sentencing for crimes as well. I voted NO on both propositions, the only people that the citizens of California have to blame is themselves…not the liberal DA’s who are only enforcing the laws “WE” passed as written.

  2. If this slug wants to know why crime is soaring in California he need only look in the mirror. I’m not the least interested in his various explanations until he blames himself.

    Let’s hear it for the Pacific ports in Canada and Mexico, and for the Atlantic ports after the expansion of the Panama Canal. It’s time to boycott California.

    1. Charles Landey: If you don’t like California, you don’t have to go there. However, do not tell me to boycott the state. That’s ridiculous.

  3. Increase funding? For theft? Raise the amount the can steal on a daily basis? Now you see why the populace is relocating from these blue states…

    Hey Newsome how about enforcing current laws by eliminating your silly “woke” “defund the police” “minorities are constant victims” agenda…

  4. Increase patrols? How about putting in a series of webcams.

    Reduce access, put up functional fences. Functional meaning they can’t be cut by a pair of clips from Home Depot.

  5. Maybe his honor could look to his left and address graffiti on private property. Graffiti is a scourge to everyone.

  6. Love the photo op. The UP obviously allowed Gavin to snap a photo or two without regard for a proper reflective safety vest. I’m guessing he was at the site for less than 10 minutes.

  7. Correct me if I am wrong, but are not the shipping containers under a US Customs bond while in transit? If some latter Jesse James wannabe breaks into one of these, isn’t this a federal offense? Since that may be the case, federal and not local prosecutors could bring charges for a federal crime. I believe the same is true for other trailers and containers as it is interstate commerce.

  8. Organized thieves could care less who is in charge, so a D or R in front of the head honcho’s name means nothing to them. Crime comes in many forms, and happens in R states as well as D states. Like the covid, crime and disease have no political faction. Does anyone honestly think that all the overcrowded prisons are only in D states? Reverting back to medieval forms of punishment, as harsh as it seems, might get the message across. A missing hand steals nothing.

    1. Policies in some distinct parts of the country have increased crime. This container thing is the latest example, but it’s similar to San Francisco’s recent change in how they define and enforce shoplifting laws.

      Newsome is very enthusiastic about giving away money, but simply returning to how things were before this crazy DA came along would solve the problem for free.

      I suspect most crimes are committed by people who would have been in jail had we enforced their full sentences.

      UP must be very embarrassed. Newsome and everybody below him should be.

    2. Funny, I don’t recall any such similar stories here in Texas, where we have plenty of intermodal traffic that seems to get to its destination unmolested. Maybe it’s because we actually prosecute thieves regardless of the value of the property.

  9. He is looking for the Christmas presents he didn’t get.
    I wonder if the UP saying they wanted to get out of LA had anything to do with this.
    Alexander , you are right that it is a federal crime but you see no mention of them helping address the problem.

  10. Why arrest the perps when they will be out on the streets in days, if not hours. Law enforcement in CA? HAH!

  11. Why is it, that tax money is going to be allocated to clean up trash that’s on railroad property in the first place? I can not believe that Union Pacific Railroad a class 1 railroad have let their property get this way, I know its California but still. Not tax money? You know, you just can’t fix stupid. This is a FEDERAL ISSUES, federal laws have been broken and a long with local laws, also these so call DA’s are not doing their job either? I’m sure that LA County jails are full of people setting on their butts not doing a thing but watching TV. Why not have them clean up this trash for the railroad, now that’s what you call our tax dollars at work. Again this is a federal crime too with local crime.
    You are kidding about what this governor says what needs to be done, that’s a joke.
    One thing the governor did say that is partly true it does look like a third world California, very sad. The Union Pacific needs to clean up their property, this did not happen over night its their responsibility too. Why hadn’t Union Pacific started cleaning up their property long before now? Why would you let your property get this way?
    Clean it now and put these people in jail and keep them in jail and hold these people accountable for their actions to the fullest of the federal law and local law and get these so call DA’s out and put someone in-charge that will fight for law-abiding legal citizens.

  12. How appropriate for him to take this photo op in the midst of the mess
    he and his cronies have made. It’s a shame that the people there keep re-electing this evil bunch.

  13. I watched news video of the problem. IT is far worse than what you see in the accompanying photo. There are so many opened boxes discarded, that I could see no ballast on the ROW. Reportedly, UP sent a letter promising to quit doing business in the LA basin unless this was corrected. Governments fail when they ignore the obvious. I worry the next event will be injury or harm to the crews operating in this “no man’s land”. UP pays property taxes for exactly this protection.

  14. I saw an article in our news that the UP stated they had cleaned the area in December and all of this has occurred since then. One comment was made that as many as 90 containers a day have been broken into.

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