Cali’s Great Train Robberies
This national embarrassment is contributing in a major way to supply chain issues, making it more than just California’s problem.
When one hears the phrase “Great Train Robberies,” it evokes images of black-and-white silent films and choppy chases on horseback, maybe even a damsel in distress tied to a train track. But in California, it’s a gritty reality that stems from a deleterious leftist worldview.
What is going on?
The Union Pacific Railroad Company’s trains are routinely being robbed by gangs. These miscreants are tricking the safety protocols by pulling a hand lever break, causing the trains to slow to a crawl. The rest of the nefarious crew, armed with bolt cutters, easily breaks into the vulnerable train cars, where they quickly grab what they can. They throw the rest of the merchandise onto the tracks so that other opportunistic scavengers can pick through the leftovers. It looks like a garbage heap. Union Pacific wrote a letter to the Los Angeles County district attorney pleading with him to start prosecuting these crimes that are devastating the supply chain.
Governor Gavin Newsom visited the trash-strewn tracks of downtown Los Angeles on January 20. After picking up a few pieces of trash, he said to the gathered reporters: “I see what you see. I see what you’ve been covering. I’m asking myself, ‘What the hell is going on?’ We look like a third-world country.” As National Review’s Dominic Pino pointed out, this does a disservice to third-world countries. At least they are trying to change their circumstances through the enforcement of law and order. California is doing precisely the opposite.
Why is it happening?
The biggest reason that this massive-scale crime is allowed to occur over and over (there’s been a 356% rise in this type of crime over the past year) is largely due to criminal-first legislation and the intentional miscarriage of the law by progressive prosecutors like George Gasćon. Theft of goods that amount to $950 can be pleaded down to only a misdemeanor. This is hardly a deterrent for thieves to stop their impropriety. Then you have Gasćon who uses justifications like “systemic racism” and “equity” to instill no-bail and soft-on-crime policies. Often the same criminals who were arrested for looting the trains one day are back at it the next because there are no consequences worth mentioning for their crimes.
Can it be stopped?
It can, and it’s the federal government’s job to dispatch the FBI to do it.
Packages from Amazon, REI, UPS, and other companies are going nationwide. According to the editors at National Review, “Fully 40 percent of goods imported into the United States come through ports in Southern California.” These thefts are further crippling the supply chain, which is driving up inflation and keeping the shelves empty in the rest of the country.
Because these crimes are not limited to California, the feds don’t have to worry about the bureaucratic red tape or indolent prosecutors to effectively prosecute these criminals. So far, there have been no obvious indications that the FBI has decided to act. One can only hope it’s because agents are quietly already building cases against these criminals.
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