Police in Los Angeles have revealed that the thieves who are raiding cargo containers on railroad tracks in Lincoln Heights have taken dozens of firearms in addition to other goods, jeopardizing the city’s safety and security.
“That gave us the great concern as a source again of further violence in the city as people were capitalizing on the transport of these containers with having little or no policing or security services there,” Moore told the city’s police commission, according to the outlet.
Police officers familiar with the matter told NBC News that over 80 freshly manufactured guns might be in the hands of criminals.
According to the sources, the stolen weapons include 36 pistols and 46 semi-automatic shotguns, the outlet reported. Thieves took them from a shipment destined for Tennessee. Authorities have managed to recover only two of the stolen weapons, sources said, according to NBC News.
“Despite all the attention brought to this, and despite the ongoing efforts by Union Pacific to solve some additional security elements, we still have people that are still drawn to this location,” Moore said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Al Labrada, the city police department’s deputy chief in charge of the Central Bureau, claimed the department has recovered “numerous guns,” saying he did not have the exact numbers at hand.
Los Angeles Times reported in December that gun violence hit a 15-year high in the city in 2021, with over 1,400 people fortunate enough to survive being shot.
Those not lucky so were among the 400 people killed in the metropolis due to homicides, an 18 percent rise from 2019 figures, the outlet reported.
The issue of thugs, cushioned by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón’s lax attitude towards crime, pillaging train containers gained public attention after images showing debris left by the thieves in Lincoln Heights went viral.
In December, Union Pacific sent a letter to Gascón, pointing out that his infamously soft stance on prosecuting crime, most notably his no-cash bail policy, contributed to the train thefts.
“Criminals are caught and arrested, turned over to local authorities for booking, arraigned before the local courts, charges are reduced to a misdemeanor or petty offense, and the criminal is released after paying a nominal fine,” the company’s letter stated.”These individuals are generally caught and released back onto the streets in less than twenty-four hours.”
Last month, Union Pacific sent L.A. D.A. George Gascon a letter about the mass looting of their trains & expressed frustration with Gascon’s soft on crime policies. 100+ arrests, most suspects released within 24 hours on zero bail. UP now considering avoiding LA County. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/9UDRuHLvtd
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) January 15, 2022
The company revealed that since December of 2020, it has suffered a 160 percent rise in criminal rail theft in Los Angeles County. The Democrat district attorney assumed office in December 2020.
“In several months during that period, the increase from the previous year surpassed 200%. In October 2021 alone, the increase was 356% over compared to October 2020. Not only do these dramatic increases represent retail product thefts – they include increased assaults and armed robberies of UP employees performing their duties moving trains,” the letter stated.
The company protested that, despite taking efforts such as hiring special agents to fight the theft, Gascón’s notoriously lax policies have undermined their anti-burglary efforts.
Gascón shot back at the letter, shifting the blame to Union Pacific’s security standards.
“It is very telling that other major railroad operations in the area are not facing the same level of theft at their facilities as UP,” Gascón said in a Jan. 21 letter, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“We can ensure that appropriate cases are filed and prosecuted; however, my office is not tasked with keeping your sites secure and the district attorney alone cannot solve the major issues facing your organization,” Gascón wrote.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.