On August 9th, 2018 at about 7:15 am, the Redding Police Department and Union Pacific Railroad received reports of multiple crossing arms down at the railroad tracks in Downtown Redding. No trains were seen and the arms were down for over 30 minutes creating a traffic issue for the morning commute.
At about 7:30am, a Union Pacific worker reported that a transient female was seen tampering with and cutting lines on the railroad tracks between Riverside Drive and Eureka Way. A description was provided and officers quickly identified and located Forcep BIRKLE, 50 years of Redding, not far from the scene. BIRKLE is well known to officers and is on probation for prior acts of vandalism at Redding City Hall as well as criminal threats. She admitted to cutting several lines on the railroad tracks.
Dozens of track wires were found to be cut or damaged along the tracks, disrupting train service and creating a significant hazard to the general public. Union Pacific track repair workers responded quickly to the problem and diligently worked on repairs. As a safety precaution, when the tampering of tracks is detected, railroad crossing arms go down automatically for the safety of the general public. It is not recommended that you cross lowered crossing arms, even if you do not see a train. Use alternate routes instead.
Trains crossing through Redding were halted while repairs took place and the crossing arms were lifted. BIRKLE was booked into the Shasta County Jail for the vandalism, trespassing, and a probation violation.