Letters to the Editor: About 40 million Americans live in poverty. So packages get stolen from trains

Gov. Gavin Newsom helps clean trash from tracks in Los Angeles
Gov. Gavin Newsom helps clean trash from tracks in Los Angeles where cargo trains were targeted by thieves on Jan. 20.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Gov. Gavin Newsom says the images of train tracks in Los Angeles strewn with shredded boxes from rampant package thefts “looked like a Third World country.”

Perhaps we look “like” a Third World country because we have around 40 million people living in poverty in the United States. Is it truly surprising that trains carrying valuable cargo through areas of poverty are not immune to theft?

It is no longer acceptable for people not to earn a living wage, yet there are many employers and politicians who believe otherwise.


It is way past time to treat the people in this country as First World citizens. Then we will see the many positive aspects of living in a First World society.

Michael Barnes, Altadena


To the editor: In the spring of 1959, when I was a freshman at the University of Illinois, the school had had enough of regular water fights.

In order to stop students from opening the fire hydrants, the fire department outfitted all possible outlets (and their hoses) with a green dye that didn’t come off skin for at least 10 days. Anyone with seen with green dye was immediately suspended.

That was the last of the raids.

A railroad car door opening that sprayed dye if not opened with a combination just might do the trick. No one gets injured, just arrested.

Francine M. Cohn, La Quinta



To the editor: Your front-page articles on package thefts from trains are not about supply chain issues. Rather, they are graphic representations of lawlessness.

A Los Angeles Police Department captain was quoted as saying that Union Pacific is partly to blame for not deploying more security. Is partly 5%, 10%, 50% or something else?

What is the percentage responsibility of law enforcement to stop this embarrassment?

Craig Campbell, Palos Verdes Estates