ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM:Brazen act caught on camera at San Francisco's Powell Street BART station

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ByDion Lim via KGO logo
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
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What Thea Pastoral saw at the Powell Street Bart Station in San Francisco shook her to the core.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The saying "See something, say something" is sometimes easier said than done. When Thea Pastoral was at the Powell Street BART station in San Francisco Sunday, what she saw shook her to the core.

"I didn't stop him because I was just so scared," said Pastoral.

VIDEO: Man seen setting off anti-theft sensors on packages at SF BART station

Pointing to cellphone video she shot, she explains what happened. "He's now taking all the items that he could carry in his arms and putting them in his jacket."

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The man is seen setting off a high-pitched alarm on dozens of gift sets with anti-theft sensors. All while onlookers calmly walk and wait for their trains. There are no officers nearby.

"We were all just watching. I mean, it's embarrassing to say I didn't really stop him or anything."

One bystander did call San Francisco police.

"You could tell she was pretty upset because they couldn't even hear her," says Pastoral.

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But, according to BART spokesperson James Allison, it wasn't enough for anything to be done.

"We didn't have the complete phone call and we didn't have the reporting party provide enough information to officers to get to the scene, so our officers simply chose to close out the case."

But what if you can't stay on the line? Perhaps you're running late and need to catch your train. Reception underground could be spotty. BART recommends reporting an incident using the BART Watch app, which is manned by dispatch 24/7. But, if you want responsiveness and the situation is dire the best thing may be to call.

RELATED: Can BART really stop drug use on its trains?

Earlier in 2018, cellphone videos were captured of a rider smoking meth.

As for Pastoral, she says this incident won't stop her from riding BART, but she'd like to see one improvement.

I would like to see more patrols.

BART Police acknowledge they need more officers that right now and have 21 vacant jobs. According to a recent study, it was suggested the agency should hire 94 more officers in the next five years.