Monday, January 24, 2022

Los Angeles Train Theft: Union Pacific DA calls on Gascon to “reconsider” directive to deny violations

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Union Cific (UP) is calling on Los Angeles County Attorney George Gascon to “reconsider” its 13 special instructions. false accusations rejected with some exceptions.

Their request was based on the fact that photojournalist John Schreiber in Los Angeles shared images of train tracks belonging to UP in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, and “apparently looted wagons,” including Amazon ticket offices, UPS boxes, unused Covid tests ”. , fishing lure, epi pens, ”he said in a tweet on Thursday.

In a statement on Friday, the UP called on Gascon to “reconsider” Special Directive 20-07, which allows many offenses to be denied or dismissed before they are brought to court if there are no “factors for consideration”.

Addition to the list of offenses, disturbing the peace, consumption of alcohol by a minor, driving without a driver’s license, driving without a driver’s license, criminal threat, possession of drugs and rafernal substances, control being under the influence of the substance you want, mass drunkenness, nonsense for prostitution, and resisting arrest.

Adrian Guerrero, UP’s state director of public relations, called the issue “incredibly frustrating and frustrating”.

“But this is the truth of what the Union has been facing for years, and it will help us shed light on this issue. I think it’s a call to action for a number of stakeholders dealing with this issue, because … there are a number. Guerrero told Acesparks Digital In an interview, UP said it worked with Los Angeles police, the Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway to target the thefts.

According to its website, UP has about 1,600 employees in Los Angeles County and its own police force, which has major jurisdiction over rail crimes. The railway company estimates that more than 90 tons of cargo will be damaged per day.

In an interview with Acesparks Digital, a UP spokesman said, “Those who intend to access these containers can and will find their way,” sometimes “causing damage to access to the containers.”

In December 2021, Guerrero wrote a letter to the district attorney asking for help in resolving the Los Angeles Railroad problem, noting that retail theft has been on the rise in Los Angeles County in recent years. UP In one year, criminal rail theft in Los Angeles County increased by 160%.

“In the first few months of that period, growth exceeded 200 percent over the previous year. In October 2021 alone, growth was 356 percent compared to October 2020,” Guerrero wrote in a letter. “These sharp increases include not only the theft of retail products, but also attacks on UP employees on duty on trains and armed thefts.”

The theft caused more than $ 5 million in damage to UP alone, not including damage to customers or consumers.

Guerrero’s letter to Gascon reads: “The UP and our shipping staff strongly urge you to reconsider the policies detailed in Special Directive 20-07. we need to support our system. Collaborate with local law enforcement to help bring these perpetrators to justice and, most importantly, protect our employees and the important local and national rail network.

Organized criminal syndicates that plan to steal across the rail system attract minors and homeless people “by force” and force them to be immersed in trains, dragged into boxes, and put in “vehicles,” he said.

When the UP issued the directive in mid-December 2020, it began to focus on the increase in railway thefts.

“While rail theft is a national issue, it’s a state issue in California. … The difference is how the criminal justice system and local law enforcement hold these criminals accountable with legal consequences, and in LA County not, ”Guerrero told Acesparks.

Guerrero noted that Governor Gavin Newsom’s office has helped take active steps to reduce organized theft.

In July, the governor signed a bill to create a criminal group to fight organized theft rings around California highways and local offices. AB 331 also reinstated organized retail theft as a crime, a sign that expired on July 1st. This applies to those who work with thieves to steal or obtain stolen goods, as well as those who engage or organize theft rings.

The issue of railways, which are in poor condition in general, is nothing new for the city. Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino, a representative of the 15th District of Southwest Lincoln Heights resolution In February 2021, the Union declared the cific railways to be a public nuisance, which will allow city workers to help clean up the roads.

“The presence of homeless camps, illegal abandonment, graffiti and overgrown weeds and plants under Union cific law is a nuisance to society and needs to be reduced,” the resolution said.

In a statement to Acesparks Digital, Alex Bastian, Gascon’s special adviser, said: is committed to work. Some cases have been filed. Allegations such as theft and major theft have been filed with our office by Union cific, while others have been rejected due to insufficient evidence. We will make indictment decisions based on the evidence. “

“Our office takes Union cific concerns seriously and hopes to discuss this issue more in the coming weeks,” Bastian said.

Acesparks correspondent Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

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