LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is promising statewide coordination as law enforcement and prosecutors go after thieves who have been raiding cargo containers aboard trains near downtown Los Angeles for months, leaving the tracks blanketed with discarded boxes.
The governor on Thursday joined a cleanup crew from the state Department of Transportation filling dozens of trash bags with crushed cardboard from packages stolen on their way from retailers to people across the U.S.
The governor said his new budget proposal includes funds to expand his Organized Retail Theft Task Force.
In December, Union Pacific sent a letter to LA County District Attorney George Gascón’s urging more aggressive prosecutions for cargo thieves.
The California Highway Patrol said it was expanding its own retail theft task force that will allow it to beef up patrols and better coordinate with police, the sheriff’s department and Union Pacific’s security force.
Newsom said at least 280 arrests have been made in connection with the train thefts.