OAKLAND, Calif. - A mob of dozens of teenagers took just seconds to storm a BART train, stealing bags and phones and even punching passengers.
BART says they have a problem with people stealing cellphones from passengers on trains, but never with a group this large. Right now, BART police are working with Oakland PD, the Housing Authority and Oakland school police to try to identify this group.
On Saturday at 9:30 p.m., when the doors opened to a Dublin-bound train at the Oakland Coliseum Station, 40 to 60 juveniles allegedly rushed out onto the train to rob the passengers.
"We had five cellphones stolen, one duffel bag and one purse. I do know that two people were punched in the face," BART spokesperson Alicia Trost said.
Trost says the group hopped the fare gates and after the attack, left the station before BART police officers arrived five minutes later.
"We did have increased police presence Saturday night at Oakland stations. We've been authorizing overtime for key stations, specifically Oakland," she said.
BART says there was a sergeant and an officer at the Coliseum Saturday night. At the time of the incident, they were doing robbery suppression patrol in the back parking lot and responded to the concourse when the call came in, according to Trost.
"Ever since I've been riding BART, I've never really seen any law enforcement, maybe in the main platform but never up by where the trains pass," rider Andres Quintero said.
Quintero rides BART every week and believes more security would deter a lot of the crime that happens on trains and at stations.
"I think BART should really step it up and put more law enforcement or more security. I don't feel they're doing enough to resolve these issues," Quintero said.
"It's very upsetting. We don't want our passengers to go through something like this," Trost said.
But the regular passengers ABC7 News spoke to on Monday say they frequently witness crimes. "I've seen all kinds of things go on. It's never a dull moment on BART, ever, ever. So I'm not too surprised, but it's crazy," BART commuter Gabriela Ponce said.
Of the nine cars on Saturday night's train in question, only six had working surveillance cameras. Right now, investigators are trying to figure out how many cars the suspects boarded.
After admitting many of their cameras were fake decoys, BART has said they will have working cameras on all of their trains by July 1 of this year. They say they're on track to meet that deadline.
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