This certainly feels like a transportation crisis —so where’s our Secretary of Transportation?
The Union Pacific train tracks in downtown Los Angeles look like something out of a post-apocalyptic Hollywood blockbuster, with boxes torn open and trash everywhere. No one thought we’d be talking about train heists this far out from the 1800s, but here we are.
“With retailers seeing a wave of “smash and grab” thefts, rail heists are now taking center stage in the latest problem dogging the industry. Over the weekend, Yahoo Finance saw several scavengers picking through the sea trash, hoping to find valuable goods like electronics, clothes or whatever items thieves left behind,” Yahoo reports.
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
Scavengers. Sea of trash. Nice job, Garcetti.
“Thieves have been raiding cargo containers, taking packages that belong to people from all over the country from retailers like Amazon (AMZN), Target (TGT), Macy’s (M), Skechers, and others, leading to viral images on social media. Data from the National Retail Federation found that the average loss from organized crime topped $700,000 per $1 billion in sales in 2020.”
“It’s really frustrating and these criminals are just taking over and they rip the box open and take what they want,” says Sarah Blankenship, vice president of law enforcement gear manufacturer BPS Tactical.
“It just makes me mad that something we made that costs money and people work hard to make and the trooper is not getting his equipment that he needs, because somebody helped himself to something that they shouldn’t be taking,” Blankenship adds.
Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has MIA on the train lootings, but he seems to be patting himself on the back for improving bottlenecks at the ports:
“The $52 million we invested in the Port of Long Beach will help speed up the movement of goods from ships to rail to shelves. And there’s a lot more where that came from for more ports thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” Buttigieg tweeted.
The $52 million we invested in the Port of Long Beach will help speed up the movement of goods from ships to rail to shelves.
And there’s a lot more where that came from for more ports thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.https://t.co/EKucqjjk2P
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) January 12, 2022