Back-to-back armed robberies at Fruitvale BART station parking lot

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- BART police are looking for a suspect who robbed two people in two separate cars at gunpoint Wednesday around 9 a.m. on the second floor of the Fruitvale BART station parking garage.

Police say officers were not at the station at the time.

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"I heard a pop and a blood-curdling scream," said witness Beth Aney.

Moments prior, Aney says she narrowly escaped being victimized herself. She says a man in a burgundy car was driving slowly next to her as she walked, then angled his car in front of her trying to box her in.

"I looked at him in the face he started opening his car door and immediately I knew he was going to rob me or do something, so my instincts kicked in, I looked him in the eye, I said don't you dare, I kicked his car door closed and I ran away," said Aney.

As Aney ran, she says she heard another woman scream.

BART Police Deputy Chief Ed Alvarez says the man Aney described robbed the other woman at gunpoint after shattering her passenger window, then robbed another man who had driven up behind her.

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Aney says she reported what happened to the station agent.

After Nia Wilson's fatal stabbing at MacArthur BART Sunday night, Aney doesn't understand why there aren't more officers.

"We just don't have enough officers to put at every single station throughout the whole day," said Deputy Chief Alvarez.

Deputy Chief Alvarez says it's a collaborative effort between BART police and the public.

"Maybe put the car in reverse, stop, go around, I mean if they have to run them over, I mean that's just something that you have to do," said Alvarez.

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ABC7 News asked Deputy Chief Alvarez a second time to explain.

"If you get to the point where your life is in danger, where they're threatening you with a weapon, a gun to your head and things like that, cooperate, at that point it's all you can do, but if you're still secure in your vehicle and the person is still outside, you have to do something, you can't just become a victim, so either put it in reverse, get the heck out of there or go forward and run them over. I mean you would be justified protecting yourself," responded Alvarez.

That's not good enough for Aney.

"I can't put my safety in jeopardy," said Aney.

She says after 15 years on BART, she now plans to take the bus.

Based on the license plate, police found the suspect's car ditched after a separate hit and run but say the plates didn't go with the car. They're still looking for the driver.

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