Los Angeles Thieves Ransack Trains, Steal Cargo, Leave Mess

Recently TSI reported on the need for more security for containers in the transportation industry. This week, the Los Angeles Times reported on how bad the situation has gotten.

The extent of the problem was seen recently in that Times report. An image from the report shows torn plastic wrappers, cardboard boxes and packaging littering the rails from a wave of rail car theft that has been on the rise in recent months.

As a hub for the supply chain, Southern California has been especially hard hit. “Thieves are pilfering railroad cars in a crime that harks back to the days of horseback-riding bandits, but is fueled by a host of modern realities, including the rise of e-commerce,” the LA Times report says. “Union Pacific reported what it claimed was a 160% increase since December 2020 in thefts along the railroad tracks in L.A. County.”

The supply chain crisis has exacerbated the situation due to bottlenecks where containers sit for weeks at a time waiting for the next leg of their journey to their destinations. Union Pacific, which operates 3,200 miles of railway in California, says they are deploying more drones, are bringing in extra security and have enlisted the Los Angeles Police Department, California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to combat the thefts.

For more, see our story on container security by clicking here. (Image by Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times).