Union Pacific Steps Up Security to Curb L.A. Train Thefts

Union Pacific rail theft
Shredded boxes and packages at a section of the Union Pacific train tracks in downtown Los Angeles Jan. 14. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press)

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Union Pacific Corp. is erecting physical barriers and increasing its own policing of an area in Los Angeles where people have been stealing goods from its trains.

What was a nuisance a few years ago from local residents taking advantage of stopped trains has turned into larger-scale, organized theft, CEO Lance Fritz said Jan. 20 on a conference call with analysts to discuss quarterly earnings.

The railroad also is working with local and state authorities and encouraging the district attorney to prosecute suspected thieves, Fritz said. He called the Los Angeles thefts a “relatively unique situation.”

“We’ve got our arms around it,” he said. “We’ve cleaned up the area, and we’re going to be enhancing security in the area.”

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