BART police arrest four robbery suspects

November 24, 2010 5:11:50 PM PST
Four men have been arrested in connection with a pair of robbery sprees in which BART riders were robbed of items including iPods, computers, credit cards and cash at two BART stations, police said.

Donail James, 23, of Oakland, who was wanted in a series of robberies at the Montgomery Street station in San Francisco, was arrested at the station on Saturday, BART officials said.

BART police said that as a result of their investigation, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office has charged James with four counts of robbery and one count of possession of stolen property.

BART police Lt. Andy Alkire said in a statement that James "was so bold and brazen during the at least four robberies we know of, he simply thought he could just walk through the middle of the Montgomery Street station and possibly get away with another one."

But he said two BART officers recognized James from an internal bulletin and arrested him while they were on patrol as part of the transit agency's new effort to increase police presence in stations and on trains.

BART police said they believe James was involved in similar robberies in or near the Montgomery Street station so they are asking for the public to come forward. They said people should call (877) 679-7000 ext. 7040 if they have information on possible robberies.

In the second case, three men surrounded a customer at the Richmond BART station on Monday, demanded his money and threatening to beat him if he refused, according to BART police.

But the victim was able to break away and report the incident to a station agent who called BART police.

Officers responded to the station and arrested three suspects.

They are 23-year-old Landon Sims of San Pablo, 20-year-old Antonio Thomas of Richmond, and 28-year-old Clifton Hall of Richmond. All are currently in the Contra Costa County jail in Martinez and face attempted robbery charges.

BART police said that despite the recent robberies, overall violent crime in the transit system is down 26 percent and robberies are down 30 percent compared to this time last year. Overall crime on BART is down 7.6 percent.


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