EXCLUSIVE: ABC7 News returns stolen bag to woman attacked, robbed on Muni

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- San Francisco police say a gang of teenagers beat a man up and stole his cellphone while he was on a Muni bus during rush hour on Monday. Then, as ABC7 News was covering the story the next day, our reporter witnessed a woman robbed by another mob of teens.

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We were on the corner of Van Ness and McAllister when it happened-- a group of 10 teens harassed a woman on a crowded bus. She ran out. A witness recovered her stolen purse. We found police to turn it in and along the way, found the owner.

"I'm so happy I got back my purse," the woman said.

This San Francisco woman was targeted by a mob of teens on a Muni bus. The day before it was a 27-year-old man was harassed at the same corner.

Police say he was uncomfortable enough that he exited the bus at McAllister and Van Ness by San Francisco's opera house and boarded another one. Police say the group of 10 young people followed him on board and several punched him and stole his phone.

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"To see this instance of 10 teens-- young adults would go so far as to follow the victim off one bus and onto another to attack him, to me that's very brazen and alarming," said Sgt. Michael Andraychak of the San Francisco police.

So we went to the corner where it happened, to talk to Muni riders. We found a woman holding a stolen purse. She had just escaped a Muni bus after she saw kids harassing another passenger, and stealing from her as she exited. She took action.

"They saw that I saw them stealing it so they gave it back to me," said the witness. "I tried to find the lady but she had already walked away."

Down the street on Van Ness Ave., we saw a patrol car with flashing lights. They were interviewing the woman who had been harassed and robbed.

"In the bus they keep hitting my head, like four of them," the victim said. "And I said, 'don't do that to me,' and I said, 'Is this what you learn in school?' I even tell them."

We returned her purse to her.

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Police are investigating surveillance video from both instances to identify the mob of young people. Witnesses say they were both male and female, all in their late teens or early 20s.
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