Train derails near Los Angeles site of where massive wave of cargo thefts has been underway

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LOS ANGELES, CA – A Union Pacific train derailed on January 15th in Los Angeles County in the same area that has seen an increase in cargo theft and vandalism as of late.

The area where the incident occurred is littered with empty packages that thieves have left on and around the tracks.

Union Pacific announced the derailment happened in the Lincoln Heights area of Los Angeles.

The derailment caused 17 cars to fall off of the tracks, littering the area with cargo, thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident. Authorities have not released any possible cause of the derailment as of yet and noted that it is under active investigation.

Union Pacific reported that this area has been well known as of late for numerous cargo thefts. Thieves that are near the tracks wait until the train has stopped or slowed and jump onboard.

Once they enter the cars, they open as many packages as they can and take what they want. When they are done, they throw the empty containers on and around the tracks.

While it does not seem likely that the cargo boxes left behind by the thieves caused the train to derail, it illustrates a completely different issue that Union Pacific has been working on. The increase in cargo thefts around the train tracks.

Union Pacific has their own police department which has reported a significant increase in cargo thefts in the Los Angeles County area over the last few months. Union Pacific spokeswoman, Lupe Valdez, said they have seen:

“Over 160 percent increase in cargo thefts in LA County.”

Valdez went on to say that they noticed the issue increase after Los Angeles District Attorney suspended cash bail and stopped prosecuting certain misdemeanors. She noted that their police department has made several arrests but the cases do not seem to be proceeding in court. She said:

“We’ve made arrests, but we have yet to hear back on a single prosecution.”

In frustration, Union Pacific leadership sent a letter to Gascon’s office inquiring about the lack of prosecution and request for assistance in these cases. In the letter, Union Pacific General Director Adrian Guerrero believes that the criminals they have arrested are immediately released and go right back to committing crimes. Guerrero wrote:

“These individuals are generally caught and released back onto the streets in less than 24 hours. 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 UP by these same criminals.

In fact, criminals boast to our officers that charges will be pled down to simple trespassing, which bears no serious consequence.”

Guerrero reports that United Pacific is estimating a loss of $5 million due to the damage and theft done by the criminals.

Gascon’s office responded to Fox News when they inquired about Guerrero’s letter. The response said:

“Our office is committed to working with law enforcement to ensure collective safety across Los Angeles County’s sprawling infrastructure, whether it’s at our ports or on railroad tracks.

Some cases presented to our office by Union Pacific have been filed, such as burglary and grand theft, while others have been declined due to insufficient evidence.

We make charging decisions based on the evidence. Our office takes Union Pacific’s concerns seriously and hopes to discuss this issue more in the coming weeks.”

CA pushing legislation for single-payer healthcare that would cover illegal immigrants, skyrocket taxes

Almost one year after taking office, far-left DA Gascon defends progressive criminal justice reform as violent crime spikes

LOS ANGELES, CA- On Wednesday, December 8th, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon marked the end of his first year in office by defending his progressive criminal justice reform efforts, claiming that he is not responsible for rising homicides and the recent smash-and-go robberies.

In an unprecedented move, district attorneys from other states such as Virginia and Massachusetts attended the press conference instead of local law enforcement and victims’ rights advocates.

Prosecutor Eric Siddall, vice president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, said in a statement:

“That tells us no other local leaders support the DA and his policies. Instead, he flew in other-like minded politicians from around the country who are also ushering in a new crime wave to their own cities.”

During the press conference, Gascon addressed the district attorneys from other states and the media, saying that the so-called “tough-on-crime approach failed.” He said:

“We are trying to dramatically change a system that has served no one, not the victims of crime, not those who are accused and not the public.”

 

When he took office in 2020, Gascon issued a special directive that prevents prosecutors in his office from seeking the death penalty, sentencing enhancements, or cash bail in non-violent cases.

That decision quickly drew widespread criticism as a policy that coddled criminals and ignored the victims.

As 2021 comes to an end, homicides, violent crimes and auto theft are rising and Gascon is facing a second recall. The most vocal critic is Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who told KTLA that “his approach has been god-awful. He authored Proposition 47 to reduce felonies to misdemeanors and now he doesn’t want to prosecute misdemeanors.” Villanueva added:

“It’s been an absolute disaster for the community. It’s been a disaster for public safety. It’s been a disaster for law enforcement.”

One of his own deputy district attorneys, John Hatami, has also been an outspoken critic of the new policies. He said:

“George Gascon’s policies have not worked. Releasing criminals not charging crime does not work in Los Angeles and it’s not making anybody any safer.”

On the same day that an 81-year-old woman was shot to death in a home invasion robbery, Gascon sent out a fundraising email decrying the use of sentencing enhancements, which are measures used to add prison time for violent crimes for a number of reasons, from gang affiliation to the use of guns. 

In response, Gascon did not add a sentence enhancement to the charges against the woman’s killer, who had an extensive criminal history and was released on parole in September.

Had an enhancement been utilized, the killer would have had 25 years added to his sentence.

 

Gascon states that sentence enhancements are disproportionately used against minorities.

But when looking at the horrific incident that happened to the 81-year-old woman, the question really becomes should that individual, a chronic offender, who tried to rob another house after shooting a woman to death, deserve a sentencing enhancement to keep him incarcerated and not out on the streets where he can harm others?

Yet, Gascon claims that his office is working to make the criminal justice system more efficient and more equitable. He said in a statement:

“We’re trying really hard to use the science that is currently available, the data that is currently available, to do our work. And I’m not going to be intimidated by political rhetoric.”

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