By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - A section of Union Pacific railroad tracks in downtown Los Angeles has again been targeted by thieves who left thousands of shredded boxes in their wake after looting cargo containers that stop in the area.
The packages included those belonging to Amazon, the REI sports store, and others, CBS Los Angeles reported on Thursday. The robbers left behind several products they did not want, including COVID-19 test kits.
CBS said the locks used to secure the area are easy to cut, and the Los Angeles Police Department told the news outlet it does not respond to reports of train robberies unless it receives a request for assistance from Union Pacific. Police said such requests are rare.
News footage from CBS shows at least one person running through the package-covered tracks with what appears to be a bag with stolen goods, and another scene in which a Union Pacific officer can be seen chasing after two individuals.
The tracks were reportedly cleaned just one month prior, but have already become encased in tattered packaging. Another clean-up occurred three months ago.
Los Angles is home to two of the busiest ports in the US: the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, and cargo that is bound for much of the country from Asia flows through the facilities.
Union Pacific said in a statement to CBS it is "very concerned about the increased cargo thefts in California, and we have taken several steps to address this criminal activity."
"These rail crimes pose a serious safety threat to the public, our employees and local law enforcement officers," it said. "We have increased the number of Union Pacific special agents on patrol, and we have utilized and explored additional technologies to help us combat this criminal activity. We also will continue to work with our local law enforcement partners and elected leaders."