Pair arrested for graffiti at BART's Richmond yard during strike

Police arrested 2 men suspected of damaging BART property after it was discovered multiple BART stations were hit with graffiti.
October 23, 2013 7:33:54 PM PDT
There was a stunning amount of graffiti at the Glen Park BART station. It was done while the station was closed during the strike.

BART says they will wait until 9 p.m. Wednesday to clean it up because that is when crowds will be reduced and BART will have crews available.

And there is damage and clean-up going on at the Bay Fair BART station in San Leandro as well. In all, nine stations saw some kind of damage or defacement.

BART police are looking for the individuals responsible for damaging BART property during the four-day strike. They have arrested two men, but they believe that the public may be able to help them identify others.

Eduardo Guevarra has been working since daybreak to remove thick, heavy paint from the walls of the Bay Fair BART station.

BART police are investigating more than half a dozen instances of graffiti committed by paint wielding vandals during the four-day BART strike. Some passengers call it annoying. It's also costly too. While the clean-up of the Bay Fair station is moving along, one stroke at a time, at San Francisco's Balboa Park and Glen Park stations it's a different story entirely.

Everywhere you look, a surface is marked with paint: benches, walls, elevators and even the train's dreaded third rail. Much of the damage was done in areas that can only be accessed when the trains aren't running.

"Nobody wants to go visit a BART station and see a bunch of painting on the walls," said BART Deputy Police Chief Ben Fairow.

That's why Fairow and his team are using surveillance video to help identify those responsible. On day two of the strike, police arrested 23-year-old llubani Hernandez and 25-year-old Zachary Boarders for suspicion of felony vandalism at the Richmond yard.

"Ultimately, it's the tax payer and the patrons that bear the brunt of that cost," said Fairow.

It is damage that will take many days and many dollars to repair.

"That's frustrating because it's going to come out of our costs. We're going to have to pay for the damages," said East Bay commuter Dona Machado.

It is just one more reminder that the strike may be over, but its effects continue to linger.

Anyone with information about damage to BART property can call 510-464-7054. Calls can be anonymous.


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