RICHMOND (KCBS) – For three men caught allegedly attempting to steal copper wire alongside railroad tracks north of Richmond, it turned out to be a very unlucky day as a train with half a dozen railroad cops just happened to stop right next to them.

Amtrak and Union Pacific Railroad ran a “safety train” from Berkeley to Richmond Wednesday to highlight the need for better railroad safety in the communities along the way.

According to Operation Lifesaver, a nationwide, non-profit public information program, 66 pedestrians were killed by trains in California in 2010 and 29 people were killed in highway-rail grade crossing crashes.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Community leaders, the media and locomotive engineers were invited to ride the train and asked to keep a look out for pedestrians trespassing on the train tracks and motorists driving illegally through rail crossings. They got more than they bargained for however, when the train stopped just north of Richmond and three men who appeared to be stealing copper wire stopped and waved at everyone.

”We observed three individuals stripping wire along our railroad tracks so we brought the train to a stop and contacted them,” said Officer Pat McGrath with the Union Pacific Police. “We put them into detention, and we are now conducting a copper theft investigation.”

At least six UP and Amtrak officers bounded off the train to make the easy arrest. Regular passenger trains usually roar past the area without stopping.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. Miss Dee says:

    LOL! Dummies…guess it wasn’t their night!

  2. Tours Martel says:

    Yeah, but not so funny if it had caused a train accident killing passengers. And I believe it’s a federal offense to interfere with trains. Hang them by their short and curlies say I.

  3. DUH... says:

    I can’t believe that these geniuses would be smiling and waving to the railroad cops while stealing copper wire on railroad property. Probably part of the same group of stellar Richmond citizens that sniff glue and paint fumes while drawing welfare checks to support their meth addictions.

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