Now they shoplift right off the train...

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HCal
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Re: Now they shoplift right off the train...

Post by HCal »

storewanderer wrote: January 18th, 2022, 6:39 pm
I don't know much about the laws. Is breaking into trains and stealing items in transport the same law being broken as shoplifting? I am surprised the trains do not have their own special rules/protections. It may be time they get them. I suspect if someone broke into an airplane parked at an airport and stole cargo, the, literally, book would be thrown at them for breaking numerous laws.
California has a separate statute for shoplifting. Anything up to $950 is a misdemeanor, higher than that is a felony.

Rail theft is not shoplifting, so it would be prosecuted under petty theft (under $950) or grand theft (over $950). If the thieves broke into the train, then it would be burglary, which is a separate crime regardless of whether anything was stolen. The CHP runs a "Cargo Theft Interdiction Program" but it seems to focus on trucks, so rail theft falls to the railroad and municipal police.

I believe airplane cargo, at least at an airport, would be under federal jurisdiction, and the FBI is likely to have less tolerance than local police/prosecutors. But the TSA is very strict about access control so I doubt much of anything is being stolen at airports. It's probably easier to wait until it gets further along.
Last edited by HCal on January 19th, 2022, 5:14 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Now they shoplift right off the train...

Post by HCal »

pseudo3d wrote: January 18th, 2022, 9:05 am The focus is on California because the DAs and others have effectively legalized shoplifting, and even arrests made mean they're back on the streets within 24 hours. This is not happening in other major U.S. ports because theft is dealt with more seriously and arrests will stick.
Cargo theft happens all over the country and has been happening for many years.

https://www.nicb.org/prevent-fraud-theft/cargo-theft

California obviously has the most, because it has the most cargo (by far), but its numbers are not out of line with the rest of the country.

As usual, certain politicians/media outlets like to blame "liberal" policies and attack "liberal" states, but that is off topic for this forum so I'll stop there.
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Re: Now they shoplift right off the train...

Post by Romr123 »

yep...railways are sovereign on their property and are the primary law enforcement throughout their property...this falls to the UP falling down on the job.
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Re: Now they shoplift right off the train...

Post by trainman »

One local L.A. website pointed out that Union Pacific laid off a number of employees, including members of their police force, in September 2020. They found a tipster who claimed that UP used to have 50-60 officers who patrolled their tracks in the L.A. area, but that number has been cut to 8.

https://www.lataco.com/union-pacific-th ... -laid-off/
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Re: Now they shoplift right off the train...

Post by storewanderer »

HCal wrote: January 19th, 2022, 5:08 am
pseudo3d wrote: January 18th, 2022, 9:05 am The focus is on California because the DAs and others have effectively legalized shoplifting, and even arrests made mean they're back on the streets within 24 hours. This is not happening in other major U.S. ports because theft is dealt with more seriously and arrests will stick.
Cargo theft happens all over the country and has been happening for many years.

https://www.nicb.org/prevent-fraud-theft/cargo-theft

California obviously has the most, because it has the most cargo (by far), but its numbers are not out of line with the rest of the country.

As usual, certain politicians/media outlets like to blame "liberal" policies and attack "liberal" states, but that is off topic for this forum so I'll stop there.
What is the date that data is from on the NICB website? Does it reflect the past couple months of activity in CA? It looks like the data is from 2017. A lot has changed since 2017.

Would also be interesting to know if the other areas have had a spike in this theft as well. I am going to paste over the numbers on the site from today.
"1. California (1,770) 6. Georgia (438)
2. Texas (1,255) 7. Alabama (214)
3. Florida (921) 8. North Carolina (204)
4. Illinois (712) 9. Indiana (192)
5. New Jersey (468) 10. Missouri (181)"
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Re: Now they shoplift right off the train...

Post by storewanderer »

trainman wrote: January 20th, 2022, 11:26 am One local L.A. website pointed out that Union Pacific laid off a number of employees, including members of their police force, in September 2020. They found a tipster who claimed that UP used to have 50-60 officers who patrolled their tracks in the L.A. area, but that number has been cut to 8.

https://www.lataco.com/union-pacific-th ... -laid-off/
Well, this answers what is going on. I was curious about this. I guess UP needs to either staff up, or make this a business decision that they can afford the theft as a cost of doing business vs. hiring more officers.

Perhaps UP was trying to keep up with the "defund the police" rhetoric that was taking place in 2020. Bad decisions have even worse consequences.
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Re: Now they shoplift right off the train...

Post by HCal »

storewanderer wrote: January 20th, 2022, 10:47 pm What is the date that data is from on the NICB website? Does it reflect the past couple months of activity in CA? It looks like the data is from 2017. A lot has changed since 2017.

Would also be interesting to know if the other areas have had a spike in this theft as well. I am going to paste over the numbers on the site from today.
"1. California (1,770) 6. Georgia (438)
2. Texas (1,255) 7. Alabama (214)
3. Florida (921) 8. North Carolina (204)
4. Illinois (712) 9. Indiana (192)
5. New Jersey (468) 10. Missouri (181)"
It's from 2017. I can't find anything more recent, but if anything, I would think it has only gone up since then.

It's not clear if there was recently a spike in CA, or if the media just decided to start reporting on it because they got their hands on one of those pictures of packages strewn on the tracks.
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Re: Now they shoplift right off the train...

Post by storewanderer »

HCal wrote: January 20th, 2022, 11:01 pm

It's from 2017. I can't find anything more recent, but if anything, I would think it has only gone up since then.

It's not clear if there was recently a spike in CA, or if the media just decided to start reporting on it because they got their hands on one of those pictures of packages strewn on the tracks.
I would guess if there isn't a spike elsewhere, there will be soon, now that this has been highlighted. UP better staff up, and not just in CA.
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Re: Now they shoplift right off the train...

Post by ClownLoach »

So this seems to have become national news, and it mirrors all of the recent headlines about retail shoplifting. Everyone points their finger at the other guy.

UP says that the problem is completely out of control, that the DA won't prosecute the cases, that the PD won't show up to take the thieves, or if they do they're back out in 24 hours at the most so there's no point in even trying to prosecute. Basically said they're not reporting the crimes and cut back on agents because it's out of control and the DA won't help.

The DA says that clearly since there are less cases being called into their office there is a decline in thefts not an increase. Said that some of the cases put together by the UP security people weren't airtight. Didn't seem to comment on what happens when UP submits a good case. Basically said that because there are so few reports the crimes must not be happening and UP should hire more agents back...

Meanwhile the Governor came out to see the situation. This Governor historically sees everything through rose colored glasses and seldom makes negative comments. This is definitely a rare exception where he was angry and disgusted by the situation. He was quoted as saying that the situation looks like "a third world country" and that he is going to assign the California Highway Patrol to the rail yards for 90 days to see if they can stop this.
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Re: Now they shoplift right off the train...

Post by storewanderer »

ClownLoach wrote: January 22nd, 2022, 12:25 pm

Meanwhile the Governor came out to see the situation. This Governor historically sees everything through rose colored glasses and seldom makes negative comments. This is definitely a rare exception where he was angry and disgusted by the situation. He was quoted as saying that the situation looks like "a third world country" and that he is going to assign the California Highway Patrol to the rail yards for 90 days to see if they can stop this.
90 days will hopefully be enough time for UP to staff up to secure their rail yards.

This is a very bad situation. If these ports lose a significant amount of traffic due to rail issues, it will be very bad for the state.

I expect there will be a lot of pressure on UP to fix this. They are lucky to be getting 90 days of help from CHP. It would also be helpful if more prosecutions took place...
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