Today’s Headlines: Guns stolen from trains cause problems for L.A.

People rummaging through stuff stolen from cargo containers
People rummage through items stolen from cargo containers in Lincoln Heights earlier this month.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

By Elvia Limón

Hello, it’s Monday, Jan. 31, and it’s time to search for game day dip recipes, because the Rams are headed for Super Bowl LVI. They’ll now attempt to win their first Super Bowl in L.A. when they face the Bengals on Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium.

Want more Rams updates? Keep up with our Super Bowl newsletter, delivered to your inbox daily from Jan. 31 to Feb. 14.


Just don’t make any wagers on who’ll win the showdown. The Times’ Jon Healey points out that gambling on the Super Bowl on online betting sites is illegal in California — whether you live here or are visiting.

Now, on to the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Scores of guns stolen from trains cause more problems in L.A.

Recent gun thefts in Los Angeles have offered a sobering peek into the vulnerability of rail networks that are part of the supply routes that authorities say help deliver an untold number of guns to stores and consumers every year.

Only a handful of the 82 guns known to have been stolen from trains passing through the Lincoln Heights neighborhood have been recovered. A gang in L.A.’s Eastside orchestrated the thefts, according to LAPD detectives. Investigators are not yet sure how many other weapons may have been pilfered.

“This is bigger than we thought. They aren’t just stealing shoes and stuff. This is an organized crime to the level they are stealing guns,” said Capt. German Hurtado, who oversees the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Division, where the rail yards are located.


UC returns to campus riven by conflicting pressures over in-person versus remote classes

As the University of California returns to in-person instruction today, conflicts are brewing across the system over whether to continue offering remote learning. The UC system’s nine undergraduate campuses shifted to remote classes through January as a precaution against the highly contagious Omicron variant.

But the return to mostly in-person classes — encouraged by high vaccination rates and signs that the surge has peaked — is anything but smooth.

Student groups are planning one-day walkouts this week to amplify their demands for more flexibility. Some faculty are supportive. But others say that extending both options for all courses would be a major strain without many more instructors.

More top coronavirus headlines

  • Los Angeles County’s daily coronavirus case numbers continue to see a dramatic decline, but death rates remain high, health officials said.
  • California has identified a number of cases of BA.2, a sublineage of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus that’s gaining more attention.
  • Los Angeles County health officials urge people to continue to take precautions, especially in light of upcoming events that could further spread the coronavirus.
  • San Diego police, firefighters and community organizers are suing to challenge the city’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

Stay up to date on variant developments, case counts and vaccine news with Coronavirus Today.


Mike Feuer’s office is dogged by a DWP corruption scandal. Will voters care?

In his campaign for Los Angeles mayor, Mike Feuer likes to tell voters how his father, a lifelong educator and survivor of a Nazi prisoner of war camp, inspired his family’s devotion to public service. The two-term city attorney of Los Angeles says those values have been reflected in his career.

But Feuer’s do-gooder profile took a gut punch when federal investigators raided the city attorney’s office in 2019, revealing that the city‘s Department of Water and Power overcharged customers, sometimes by huge amounts.

Now, as the mayor’s race pushes its way to center stage, the scandal and a scheme to settle a lawsuit over ratepayers’ complaints continue to rumble in the wings.

Sign up for our California Politics newsletter to get the best of The Times’ state politics reporting and the latest action in Sacramento.

Homeless Angelenos create a community in an abandoned Koreatown building


To enter 732 S. Vermont Ave., you must carefully shove open a rusted gray iron gate until a gap large enough for you to slide through sideways appears. If you delicately step your way through the onetime parking lot littered with mounds and mounds of trash — a stained mattress here, a toilet there — you’ll approach a graffiti-covered building with a large sign: Vermont Dental Group Implant Center.

And if you stick around for a while, you might see the people who called it home. In a city with homeless encampments popping up in parks, on sidewalks and under overpasses, a tiny and mostly unnoticed community took hold here, two blocks away from sleek Wilshire Boulevard apartments, finding shelter within the derelict building’s dusty, wire-exposed walls.

The first big Winter Olympics event kicked off this week — packing

The packing list for the Winter Olympics is a bit more extensive than a few table-tennis paddles or extra basketball high-tops, which makes packing for the trip a big challenge. Cold-weather sports require gloves and goggles and helmets, duffel bags bulging with hockey sticks, rifles for biathletes and four-man bobsleds the size of grand pianos.

The small stuff can be difficult, too. For biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing and shooting, competitors and team officials must know the laws for transporting ammunition into each new country and the requirements for getting their rifles through customs. Any extra space in their gun cases is filled with underwear and socks.

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Jingjing Guo, right, with partner Chenggang Zhu, make an offering at a four-faced Buddha shrine
Jingjing Guo, right, with partner Chenggang Zhu, make an offering at the four-faced Buddha shrine at MP Prajna Buddhist Mission in Monterey Park. The couple said they came to pray for best wishes for 2022.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

‘Less hugs, more Zooms’ — Asian Americans celebrate a second pandemic Lunar New Year. Instead of dressing up for visits to vulnerable elders, young people are sharing wishes for good health on FaceTime. Some are sketching artwork or recording videos to send to grandparents they won’t be seeing in person.

California to pay for wildfire retrofits up to $40,000 per home, starting in rural San Diego. Firefighting officials have only just started taking applications for the three-year endeavor, which aims to tackle everything from installing ember-resistant screens on home vents to replacing windows, siding and roofs.

A California monastery mourns mindfulness advocate Thich Nhat Hanh. Nhat Hanh, who died this month atage 95, never lived at the mountain monastery he founded in 2000, but he visited many times to lead retreats. Devotees say they can still see their teacher in the rustling of the wind through the oak trees, or in the form of a rock where he once gave a talk.


California’s Leondra Kruger emerges as a contender for the U.S. Supreme Court. Those familiar with Kruger’s legal accomplishments said she would be a valuable addition to the court while helping President Biden fulfill a campaign promise to make a historic appointment to the bench.

A dean’s divisive tweet casts San Diego State into the debate over academic free speech. In December, Monica Casper, the dean of the College of Arts and Letters, went on Twitter and made statements about conservatives, leading to an angry backlash that included threats of violence. The school’s president recently upheld Casper’s right to free speech. But she also chided her dean.


Nearly $200 million in federal relief money is given to San Diego arts, entertainment and tourism groups. As part of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, the USS Midway Museum and Zoological Society of San Diego received $10 million each to make up for lost revenues caused by the COVID-19 shutdown, while the Belly Up and Old Globe Theatre got just over $8 million apiece

DNA evidence leads to the arrest of an Inglewood teacher in a 17-year-old murder case. The use of DNA and fingerprint evidence led to the arrest of Charles Wright, 56, in the killing of Pertina Epps, 21, who was strangled in 2005, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

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Former President Trump dangles the prospect of pardons. The pardons would be for supporters who participated in the deadly Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, if he returns to the White House. The offer represents an attempt by Trump to further minimize the most significant attack on the seat of government since the War of 1812.

Socialist Party wins reelection in Portugal and plans major investments to boost the economy. It was still unclear whether the Socialist Party would reach 116 lawmakers, allowing it to enact legislation alone, or whether it would fall short of that number and need to cut deals to gain the support of smaller parties.

North Korea tests its longest-range missile since 2017. Sunday’s test was North Korea’s seventh round of launches this month. The unusually fast pace of tests indicates its intent to pressure the Biden administration over long-stalled nuclear negotiations.



In an email exchange, ‘Rust’ armorer said she needed to focus on weapons, not props. A week before Alec Baldwin fatally shot the cinematographer, the film’s 24-year-old armorer was reprimanded for leaving guns unattended on set and for failing to sufficiently juggle two important roles.

Neil Young quit Spotify because of Joe Rogan. These artists followed his lead. Joni Mitchell joined her friend in pulling her music. The mounting opposition to Spotify has also sparked rumors that various big names — from Foo Fighters to Barry Manilow — will be the next to walk.

Twenty-five must-see movies from the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The indie film showcase once again unveiled a lineup of movies worth dissecting and discussing in the year ahead. Here are some of our favorites from the festival’s feature competition sections, including John Patton Ford’s “Emily the Criminal” and Isabel Castro’s documentary “Mija.”

‘The Afterparty’ is the exceedingly delightful murder mystery you need to watch next. Tiffany Haddish kills — well, not literally — in Apple’s high-school-reunion ‘Rashomon,’ combining the cast’s comic chops with a compelling whodunit.


After huge pandemic losses, governments see a rapid rebound. In response to the dramatic turnaround, governors, lawmakers and local officials have proposed a surge in spending as well as a new wave of tax cuts.

The best side hustles for your 20s and 30s. Some millennials say that side jobs allow them to test-drive projects that ignite their passions — or provide some valuable benefit they otherwise couldn’t afford. In best-case scenarios, side hustles can lead to early financial independence and more rewarding careers.



Inside how NASCAR built a track inside L.A.’s Coliseum and how drivers feel about it. Natural as it might look on race day, this is the first time the league has ever experimented with building a track inside a stadium. The uniquely small dimensions have given executives a challenge.

The Los Angeles and San Francisco football rivalry is super fun for fans. The two football rivals were battling it out for a chance to play in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13. But the 49ers held the advantage going into Sunday’s game.

Terry Donahue’s legacy lives on with the California Showcase for overlooked recruits. The family of the UCLA football coaching great considers the event his greatest accomplishment, and they want to keep it alive. It is being held Feb. 12 at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine. More than 1,000 participants have secured scholarships since its inception.

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There’s a battle brewing over changes to California solar incentives. Gov. Gavin Newsom is in the middle. The governor can maneuver the California Public Utilities Commission toward a compromise that’s fair to solar owners, low-income ratepayers and the utilities, while expanding clean energy, columnist George Skelton writes.

Thinking of buying a gun for self-defense? Don’t do it. “During my more than 25 years as an emergency medicine physician, I treated hundreds of patients with gunshot wounds.... Yet in all those years of emergency medicine, I never treated a single patient who was shot by a law-abiding citizen in self-protection,” writes physician Steven J. Sainsbury.



Illustration for story about composting
(Kelly Malka / For The Times)

Here’s how to help save the world by composting your kitchen scraps. All those organic materials creating problems in our landfills can easily be converted to compost — the miracle soil amendment that rebuilds our depleted soils while nourishing our plants. All we have to do is scrape our plates into a compost bucket instead of the trash bin.

If you have a yard, you can easily start a compost pile. Send items you don’t want to include, like bones or moldy cheese, to professional waste treaters and use the rest of your household food waste to create excellent and free soil amendments for your garden.

No yard? No problem! Consider a small-space option like bokashi or worm composting or connect with a co-op that will do it for you.


Memorial service for Challenger astronaut Ronald McNair
Memorial service for Challenger astronaut Ronald McNair at Trinity Baptist Church in South Los Angeles in 1986.
(Larry Davis/ Los Angeles Times)

It has been 36 years since the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven crew members aboard. NASA astronaut and physicist Ronald E. McNair was among those killed. He was one of the first African American astronauts.


An expert in lasers, he worked at Hughes Research Lab in Malibu as a staff physicist for a year and a half until he was selected for the astronaut program in January 1978.

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