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洛杉矶火车盗窃猖獗,大量货物散落铁轨如“垃圾场”

Sifting Through the Train Thefts of Los Angeles
洛杉矶火车盗窃猖獗,大量货物散落铁轨如“垃圾场”

The railroad tracks are a wasteland of discarded cartons, envelopes and boxes. Pieces of clothing lie disgorged from packaging and tossed aside. A family photograph, propped up in the garbage, stands sentimental to someone, somewhere, but of no interest to those who loot the tracks of Lincoln Heights.

铁轨成了撒满废弃盒子、信封和纸箱的垃圾场。从包裹中扯出的衣服被扔到一旁。垃圾堆里冒出一张家庭照片,也许它对某个地方的某个人具有情感意义,但那些在林肯高地铁轨上抢东西的人对它毫无兴趣。

The authorities in this east Los Angeles neighborhood have been aware for months of the thefts, affecting a busy hub for freight from the West Coast, but the losses have worsened over the last year, they said.

这些盗窃行为影响了一个迎接西海岸货运的繁忙枢纽,这个洛杉矶东部社区的当局对这些盗窃事件已知晓数月,但他们说,去年的损失更加严重了。
 

在发生大量铁路盗窃后,洛杉矶下城的联合太平洋铁路上满是丢弃的包裹碎片。

At this section of the tracks, a center for Union Pacific Railroad, trains carrying an array of items, including electronics and jewelry, are reconfigured for routes toward Canada or Chicago, a pause in the journey that has made them targets.

这是联合太平洋铁路的一个中心,载有从电子产品到珠宝等各种物品的火车经过这里时,路线会被重新设置为去往加拿大或芝加哥,旅程中的这个暂停使它们成为盗窃目标。

While train theft occurs at other hubs around the country, it is particularly challenging to guard the cargo around Lincoln Heights because of the lay of the land. The tracks dip below street level, putting them out of sight in an urban valley of walls and shipping containers.

虽然全国其他枢纽经常发生火车盗窃,但由于地势的原因,保护林肯高地地区的货运列车尤其具有挑战性。其轨道低于街道,使它们在建筑和集装箱密布的城市山谷中不被看到。

“Think of it as a tunnel but without the roof,” said Capt. German Hurtado, the commanding officer of the Hollenbeck area, a division of the Los Angeles Police Department that covers Lincoln Heights. “It provides cover for the thieves.”

“把它想象成一个隧道,但没有屋顶,”霍伦贝克地区警监日耳曼·赫尔塔多说,霍伦贝克地区是洛杉矶警察局负责林肯高地的分局。“为小偷提供了掩护。”

It can take just the snip of a zip-tie to get into the cargo, and thefts can be spontaneous crimes of opportunity or organized escapades, the police said.

警方说,只需剪掉扎带就可以进入货柜,并且盗窃可能是自发的机会犯罪,也可能是有组织的掠夺行为。

Some thieves toss goods to vans or trucks on nearby streets, Captain Hurtado said. Things like socks, jewelry, guns, televisions and tires are ripped from packaging. Urns, possibly holding human remains, photographs and other sentimental mementos have been pulled from trains, he added.

赫尔塔多说,一些小偷将货物扔到附近街道上的货车或卡车上。袜子、珠宝、枪支、电视和轮胎之类的东西都是从包裹里扯出来的。他还说,从火车上带出来的东西还包括可能装有人类遗骸的骨灰盒、照片和其他的具有情感价值的纪念品。

“They just throw everything off,” he said.

“他们把所有东西都扔掉,”他说。

Detritus from the robberies has lingered around the tracks in Los Angeles County for more than a year, but footage of the garbage-clogged tracks published last week raised new concerns about enforcement, supply chain constraints and how the pandemic has affected jobs.

劫掠造成的废弃物已经在洛杉矶县的铁轨周围散落了一年多,但上周公布的垃圾堵塞铁轨的视频引发了人们对执法、供应链受限以及大流行如何影响就业的新担忧。

The footage, taken by a journalist in Los Angeles, John Schreiber, showed him finding a discarded Covid test and a fishing lure in the litter. A CBS report highlighted the problem by contacting people identified on some of the trashed packages. Union Pacific is also investigating the derailment of a train on Saturday in the area, though it is not clear the incident has any relation to thefts or debris.

这段由洛杉矶记者约翰·施赖伯拍摄的视频显示,他在垃圾中发现了一个丢弃的新冠病毒检测试剂盒和一个鱼饵。CBS的一篇报道凸显了这一问题,他们通过一些被丢弃的包裹上的信息与人取得联系。联合太平洋铁路也在调查周六在该地区发生的火车脱轨事件,但尚不清楚该事件是否与盗窃或废弃物有关系。

The section of tracks is periodically cleaned, Union Pacific said, but refuse has continued to pile up there and on other tracks where thefts have taken place.

联合太平洋铁路表示,这部分轨道是定期清理的,但垃圾继续在那里和其它发生盗窃的轨道上堆积。

On Sunday, Union Pacific released a statement that said rail incidents in Los Angeles County, including theft, assaults and armed robberies of Union Pacific employees, rose 160 percent last year.

周日,联合太平洋公司发表声明称,洛杉矶县的铁路事故——包括盗窃、袭击和对联合太平洋铁路员工的持械抢劫——去年增加了160%。

In the last three months of 2021, when holiday shipping was at its peak, an average of more than 90 containers were “compromised” every day, a spokesman, Adrian Guerrero, wrote in a December letter to George Gascón, the district attorney of Los Angeles County.

发言人阿德里安·格雷罗在12月致洛杉矶地区检察官乔治·加斯康的一封信中写道,在2021年的最后三个月,当假日货运达到顶峰时,平均每天有90多个集装箱“受损”。

Without detailing what goods were stolen, the company estimated it had incurred about $5 million in claims, losses and damages.

该公司没有详细说明被盗货物的具体情况,估计其已遭受约500万美元的索赔、遗失和损失。

The company also said that customers like UPS and FedEx were considering taking their business elsewhere. UPS said it was working with the authorities to address the situation. FedEx said it was working to determine whether its shipments were affected.

该公司还表示,UPS和联邦快递等客户正在考虑将业务转移到其他地方。UPS表示正在与当局合作解决这一问题。联邦快递表示正在努力确定其货运是否受到影响。

Railway theft is a problem as old as the railroads themselves, though many thieves now concentrate on regional hubs like Southern California. Jessica Kahanek, a spokeswoman for the Association of American Railroads, said companies nationwide were increasing steps to combat the thefts, which have been a “persistent challenge particularly in the Los Angeles area.”

铁路盗窃从有铁路以来一直就是个问题,不过现在许多盗窃集中在南加州之类的地区枢纽。美国铁路协会发言人杰西卡·卡阿尼克说,全国各地的公司都在加紧应对盗窃问题,而“尤其在洛杉矶地区一直是个挑战”。

In the densely populated Lincoln Heights area, a general increase in crime and police staffing levels strained by the pandemic have made matters worse, Captain Hurtado said. “We have the perfect storm of crime with Covid,” he said. “People are losing their jobs. There is a lot of homeless right now.”

在人口稠密的林肯高地一带,大流行造成的犯罪总体增加和警力不足导致问题恶化,赫尔塔多说。“我们迎来了一场新冠加犯罪的完美风暴,”他说。“人们在失去工作。现在有许多无家可归的人。”

The strains of the pandemic, the uncertain economy, persistent inequality and a sense of falling behind make for “ripe conditions for some of these effects to emerge,” said Eesha Sharma, an assistant professor of marketing at the Fowler College of Business at San Diego State University.

疫情的压力、经济的不确定性、持续存在的不平等以及一种落后于人的感觉“给这些效应的出现创造了条件,”圣迭戈州立大学福勒商学院市场营销助理教授艾沙·沙尔马说。

“A lot of individuals are facing financial challenges,” said Professor Sharma, who co-wrote a 2013 paper on the relationship between inequity and theft. “And these effects are not relegated to people who have the least amount of resources.”

“许多人面临财务上的困难,”沙尔马说,她在2013年与人合写了一篇论文探讨不平等与盗窃问题的关系。“这些效应并不仅限于影响那些资源最少的人。”

Union Pacific said that it had started using drone surveillance, “specialized fencing and trespass-detection systems” in Los Angeles County, and that its agents had made “hundreds of arrests.”

联合太平洋表示已经开始在洛杉矶县使用无人机监控、“特制的屏障和闯入探测系统”,已经实施了“数百宗抓捕”。

Mr. Guerrero, the company’s spokesman, has called for more aggressive prosecution of railroad thefts. He said in his December letter to Mr. Gascón, the district attorney, that people caught by agents, when turned over to the Los Angeles County authorities, often had their charges reduced to lesser offenses and were then quickly released.

公司发言人格雷罗呼吁对铁路窃贼发起更严厉的控罪。他在12月致地区检察官加斯康的信中说,公司代理人抓获窃贼并转交给洛杉矶县当局后,这些人的控罪往往会减轻,并很快得到释放。

Alex Bastian, a special adviser to the district attorney, said that charges had been filed for burglary and grand theft in some of the Union Pacific cases, but that others were declined because of insufficient evidence.

地区检察官特别顾问亚历克斯·巴斯蒂安说,检方对部分联合太平洋案件做出了盗窃和重罪盗窃检控,但有一些由于证据不足被驳回了。

“Our office takes Union Pacific’s concerns seriously and hopes to discuss this issue more in the coming weeks,” he said.

“我们的办公室对联合太平洋的情况非常重视,希望能在接下来几周里进行更多讨论,”他说。

Captain Hurtado said that staffing levels affecting police forces and Union Pacific’s officers were having an impact on enforcement, although the rail company’s officers were doing “everything they can.” Sometimes, he said, they are trying to stop one person and can only radio for help when they spot someone else in the distance, rifling through boxes or leaving with goods.

赫尔塔多说警察和联合太平洋面临的人手不足问题也影响了执法,不过铁路公司的员工正“竭尽所能”。他说,有时候他们需要去阻止一个人,同时看到远处有其他人在货柜里翻找或带着货物离开,于是只能呼叫增援。

When people are stopped — carrying a shirt or a boogie board, for instance — they sometimes tell officers the objects were found on the street, a claim that is hard to disprove. “The people that we do arrest, we can usually only arrest them for trespassing,” he said.

一旦有人被抓住——比如正拿着一件衬衫或一块绘图板——有时他们会说东西是街上捡到的,这是个很难证伪的说法。“我们实际能抓捕的通常都是以擅闯为由,”他说。

Since last summer, the precinct has made more than 80 arrests at the tracks, including for trespassing and receiving stolen property “with almost no charges,” he said.

自去年夏天至今,该警区在铁路沿线抓捕超过80人,包括擅闯以及获得失窃财物,但“几乎没有能提告的”,他说。

Captain Hurtado said some violent crimes were being investigated as possibly related to the theft on the tracks. But he said the department, already strained by the pandemic, did not have the manpower to send patrol officers to supplement Union Pacific personnel.

赫尔塔多说一些暴力犯罪被作为与铁路盗窃相关的案件在调查。不过警察局本身受到大流行的制约已经面临警力不足的问题,无力派出巡逻警官配合联合太平洋的员工。

“They are really trying, but we are all understaffed,” he said.

“他们很努力,但我们都缺人手,”他说。
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