LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Nearly two dozen arrests were made in a yearlong investigation into train burglaries, the Los Angeles Police Department announced Thursday.
The Train Burglary Task Force nabbed the suspects who police say were members of a criminal enterprise targeting and burglarizing cargo containers moving through L.A. County.
Authorities say the arrests of 22 suspects linked to a lion's share of the thefts succeeded in shutting down the operation.
LAPD Capt. Alfonso Lopez said that stolen cargo valued at more than $18 million was recovered.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the task force focused cracking down in the downtown L.A. area.
The task force also included the Union Pacific Railroad Police and other law enforcement agencies.
Union Pacific, one of the country's largest railroad companies, stated that it saw a 160% year over year jump in thefts in the county.
Railroad officials say bandits just jump over the tracks and take packages right off the train.
Moore pointed out in one such theft of railcars, dozens of weapons - rifles and handguns -- were stolen on tracks.