Companies Report Increased Looting of Freight Trains Travelling Through Leon, Mexico
Local companies in Los Sauces, a small community in Leon, Guanajuato State are reporting an increased number of looting incidents targeting Mexican freight trains passing through the community. According to the report, local citizens are boarding the trains while they are in transit, and toss out sacks of cargo from the vehicles. Corn and cement appear to be the most heavily targeted products, and the citizens allegedly load the sacks into a pickup truck and take them to be sold in local markets. An employee of a cement company stated that the thefts had risen dramatically this year. In the last few years, it was not uncommon for a few sacks of product to be missing from trains arriving at Leon; however, the employee stated that it is now common for trains to be missing several tonnes of cargo when they arrive at their destination.
Thefts from freight trains make up a relatively small portion of incidents in Mexico, but frequently involve a much larger quantity of stolen cargo than other types of thefts. Citizens often perceive freight train theft to be a low-risk act, as police have a very limited ability to track stolen cargo unless they are alerted to ongoing thefts.