Workers at the Union Pacific Intermodal Station sandwiched between Lathrop and Manteca got a surprise on Monday morning when they discovered somebody that had stowed away inside of a shipping container.
Local authorities were dispatched to the facility – located on East Roth Road – after reports of a disturbance. The Lathrop Manteca Fire District was also dispatched because of a possible medical call at the site.
The person in the shipping container was alive and well, and the matter was handled by Union Pacific Railroad Police and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s something that happens periodically, but it has been a while,” Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann said. “We get more people riding and they stop at the intermodal with people hopping in – it’s pretty well contained there at that facility – but I wouldn’t say that it’s prevalent.
“When it comes to safety on the railroad, the UP Police do a good job of policing it – rarely do we have anything to do with it when something happens.”
Edgar Garza, 48, was arrested on felony charges of burglary and misdemeanor charges of trespassing on railroad property and is currently being held on $155,000 bail at the San Joaquin County Jail. According to the Union Pacific Railroad Garza was inside of the shipping container when it was brought into the facility, but no additional information about how he got there – or where he came from – was released.
The intermodal facility on Roth Road has long served as an integral part of the railway’s operations allowing for train-to-truck transfers – and vice versa – for freight that is coming into the area from international ports and headed out of the country. Lathrop’s location along I-5 and near access points to the San Francisco Bay Area has made Roth Road a major corridor for tractor-trailers, and the facility generates an abundance of traffic from California’s arterial interstate – just recently garnering a full-service truck stop to serve that population.
Every year multiple people are found dead inside of shipping containers around the globe – dying from asphyxiation because of the lack of oxygen inside of the sealed containers.
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