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California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom was widely panned by conservatives on social media after touring railroad tracks littered with garbage in Los Angeles and remarking that the scene looked like it was from a “third world country.”

“It looked like a Third World country,” the governor said Thursday after showing up to help clean up the massive garbage piles of empty packages looted by vandals and the homeless near Downtown Los Angeles which had gone viral the previous week. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom, center, removes cardboard and other discarded items from a Union Pacific railroad site on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Newsom was immediately slammed by conservatives on social media who pointed partial blame at Democrat policies that he supports for the lawlessness and vagrancy that has plagued the Golden State.

“‘Yeah, boy, how did that happen?’ he looked around asking,” the Spectator’s Stephen L. Miller sarcastically tweeted. “‘Man this place that I run is a real s***hole. Ah well, next.’”

“The definition of a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth,” Republican California State Rep. Kevin Kiley tweeted.

“Even Gavin Newsom now thinks California looks like a third world country,” Republican congressional candidate Errol Webber tweeted. “He’s the one who made it this way!”

“I’m stunned at how clueless Newsom is,” Red State’s Jennifer Van Laar tweeted. “Yes, we look like a third-world country and we have for a while! Look at your crime bills, your shutdowns… OMG.”

Men look over a railing at a Union Pacific railroad site on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, in Los Angeles. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday promised statewide coordination in going after thieves who have been raiding cargo containers aboard trains nearing downtown Los Angeles for months, leaving the tracks blanketed with discarded boxes.
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

“Yep,” radio host John Phillips posted. “A third world country with a third world dictator. Just to make it official, I say @GavinNewsom should wear sunglasses in the official portrait”

Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

Thieves have been digging through train cargo filled with packages in downtown Los Angeles, creating mounds of trash as a result.

“What has happened on this stretch of the Union Pacific railroad is unacceptable,” Newsom said on Thursday. “We are committed to an all-of-government approach to prevent thefts, prosecute the criminals involved, and clean up local communities.”

CBS 2 Los Angeles photojournalist John Schreiber visited train tracks in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles and described “looted packages as far as the eye can see,” including “Amazon packages, UPS boxes, unused Covid tests, fishing lures, epi pens,” he said in a tweet last week. 

Local law enforcement told Schreiber that UPS bags are popular among “thieves opening cargo containers” because “they are often full of boxes with merchandise bound for residential addresses,” he said.

Union Pacific Railroad’s Adrian Guerrero pointed to rising retail theft crime in Los Angeles County over the past year as part of the problem in a Dec. 20 letter to Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon. UP experienced a 160% increase in criminal rail theft in Los Angeles County over the past year. 

“In several months during that period, the increase from the previous year surpassed 200%. In October 2021 alone, the increase was 356% over compared to October 2020. Not only do these dramatic increases represent retail product thefts – they include increased assaults and armed robberies of UP employees performing their duties moving trains,” a UP spokesperson said in a statement.

In this July 1, 2019 file photo, a homeless man moves his belongings from a street near Los Angeles City Hall, background, as crews prepared to clean the area. The Los Angeles City Council has passed a sweeping anti-camping measure to remove widespread homeless encampments that have become an eyesore across the city. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Union Pacific has “increased” the number of special agents assisting with crime on the tracks over the last three months. Agents have made more than 100 arrests related to vandalism.

“However, Union Pacific has not been contacted for any court proceedings,” A UP spokesperson said in a Friday statement. “Union Pacific urges Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon to reconsider his Special Directive 20-07,” which specifies 13 specific misdemeanor charges that will be dismissed with certain exceptions.

Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report

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