John Schreiber Profile picture
Jan 13, 2022 16 tweets 9 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Keep hearing of train burglaries in LA on the scanner so went to #LincolnHeights to see it all. And… there’s looted packages as far as the eye can see. Amazon packages, @UPS boxes, unused Covid tests, fishing lures, epi pens. Cargo containers left busted open on trains. @CBSLA
I’m told by law enforcement these @UPS bags are especially sought after by thieves opening cargo containers… they are often full of boxes with merchandise bound for residential addresses. More valuable than say, a cargo container full of low value bulky items like toilet paper.
This opened package from @REI destined for Bainbridge Island, WA was taken off a train. Typing in the @UPS tracking # and it obviously lists it as “delayed.” We found lots of opened packages bound for the Northwest along this section of tracks. ImageImage
As you can see, trains frequently slow or stop in this area as they get worked into the @UnionPacific Intermodal facility near Downtown LA. The thieves use this opportunity to break open containers and take what’s inside. I’d say every 4th or 5th rail car had opened containers.
Missing a package? Shipment delayed? Maybe your package is among the thousands we found discarded along the tracks. This is but one area thieves have targeted trains. We were told this area was just cleaned up 30 days ago so what you see is all within the last month. @CBSLA
Responsibility for policing the railroad right of way falls on Union Pacific Police... not local agencies like LAPD. We did see Union Pacific police chasing two people today off the tracks and keeping an eye on things.
Unfortunately @UPS, it’s gonna take a lot more than a tracking number in this situation.
New Today: My colleague @CBSLAKristine spoke with @UnionPacific about train theft and they forwarded her this letter they sent to LA County DA in December. UP says they arrested > 100 people in last 3 months but many were fined and released within 24 hours.
And now @CBSLAKristine has the LA County DA’s response to Union Pacific’s claims. DA says some cases have moved forward… others lack sufficient evidence.
As if this story couldn’t get even more bonkers… a train has just derailed in the exact area where I shot all this train theft video on Thursday. This is crazy video from @bellikemike
On Friday, LA County DA sent this letter to @UnionPacific. It says UP “does little to secure or lock trains and has significantly decreased law enforcement staffing.” He points out other railroad operations (aka BNSF) are not experiencing same levels of theft on their tracks. ImageImage
In the letter, he also says cases presented to DA for filing consideration involving @UnionPacific as victim are DOWN over last 3 years. Of 47 cases in 2021: 27 were filed… 10 lacked evidence… 10 did not involve theft, burglary or tampering allegations. Image
Also wanted to compare BNSF Railway to Union Pacific so we flew SE of Downtown LA where the 2 companies use tracks separated by just 2 blocks. On the left is BNSF... the right is UP. We saw very few boxes on BNSF tracks. UP tracks had many more boxes/more debris.
This alone doesn't conclusively say anything but does BNSF just clean up its tracks more than UP? Have more security? Better fencing? Different logistics/layout? Move trains faster? All questions I have. But there is a visible difference between the two railways on this stretch.
This is what the BNSF tracks leading into its massive Los Angeles rail yard looked like today moving east to west. I drove past on the ground last week and saw there are multiple non-fenced portions and potential easy access to the tracks.
And this is a stetch of tracks used by Union Pacific two blocks north of the tracks used by BNSF. I obviously can't verify what was/is in the boxes from the air (or if they even came off trains) but we also saw those yellow bins at the site of the rail thefts in Lincoln Heights

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More from @johnschreiber

Jan 12, 2022
You may be watching Star Wars "The Book of Boba Fett" and imagining the exotic locales they must have filmed it in. But... "parking lot in Carson, California" probably wasn't your first guess. Took this flying over the set in March 2021. #StarWars #BobaFett
And this is how the set looked in the second episode. Really amazing the technology they have now to transform a parking lot into another world.
I am also guessing "giant hole in the ground in Pacoima" wasn't at the top of your list as Star Wars filming locations... yet here you have it. Filmed April 2021. #StarWars
Read 5 tweets
Sep 14, 2021
You’ve seen it dropping retardant on fires across the world now come along with me on a tour inside the @Ten_Tanker DC-10 air tanker at San Bernardino International Airport. 1/7
First off, ever wondered what the button looks like which, when pushed, drops up to 9,400 gallons of retardant? Here it is. Flight engineer will generally push it but pilots also have a button on each yoke. 2/7
Headed below into the cargo space we find the pumps that fill the three retardant tanks on the belly of the aircraft. 3/7
Read 7 tweets
Apr 11, 2021
A “White Lives Matter” protest #HuntingtonBeach is being met with a lot of counter protesters near the pier and PCH. I’ve seen a few physical fights and shoving but police seem quick to break things up. @CBSLA
This man, who was waving a flag pole with a “Trump 2020” flag among others, was just arrested at the “White Lives Matter” protest in #HuntingtonBeach. Earlier he was involved in an altercation with counter-protesters and his flags ripped down. He returned with the flags. @CBSLA
A crowd has now gathered in front of the #HuntingtonBeach police substation where police escorted a White Lives Matter protester. Mounted deputies and police in tactical gear stationed outside.
Read 5 tweets

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