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22 arrested in Los Angeles cargo train bust

Los Angeles
Posted at 7:26 AM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 10:26:30-05

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KERO) — The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has made a significant crackdown on a criminal network that was targeting railroad cargo containers.

The LAPD announced the arrests of 22 people in connection to the theft of 18 million dollars in merchandise. In January, the Union Pacific Tracks in Downtown Los Angeles were littered with thousands of boxes after thieves routinely stole from passing trains. A public-private partnership called the Train Burglary Task Force is using a combination of modern technology and old-fashioned police work to stop the crimes.

"The artificial intelligence is set up to detect people and vehicles in restricted areas and once those restricted areas are created through an invisible geofence, they alert our command center in Long Beach where our specialized agents are able to take appropriate real-time action," said Jordan Lippel, head of a private security firm in the Train Burglary Task Force. "That could be a voice-style mechanism. That could be calling law enforcement. It could dispatch private security, depending on whatever the situation calls for."

Tools like security cameras, artificial intelligence, and fencing combined with increased patrols have reduced calls about railroad theft by 60 percent. Los Angeles police hope publicity about the mass crackdown will send a clear message to anyone thinking about stealing from railroad cargo containers.