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Dozens of teens swarm BART train, rob and injure passengers

Bay Area Rapid Transit passengers wait for a BART train to depart the Fruitvale station in Oakland. BART officials say dozens of juveniles swarmed a train and strong-arm robbed passengers.
Bay Area Rapid Transit passengers wait for a BART train to depart the Fruitvale station in Oakland. BART officials say dozens of juveniles swarmed a train and strong-arm robbed passengers. AP file

A Saturday night BART ride took a harrowing turn when a train car was commandeered by dozens of juveniles, authorities report.

About 9:30 p.m., witnesses said between 40 to 60 youths jumped the fare gates at the Coliseum Station, poured out onto the platform and boarded a Dublin-bound train, according to a BART police report.

Once on board, the juveniles “committed multiple strong arm robberies of bags and cellphones,” leaving at least two riders with facial and head injuries that required paramedic treatment, the report said. Seven people were robbed during the incident, including one on the platform.

The teenagers all fled into the surrounding neighborhood before officers arrived, according to the report.

Spokeswoman Alicia Trost said Monday that BART is pulling surveillance video which will be shared with Oakland police, the Oakland Unified School District and the Oakland Housing Authority in an effort to identify the teenagers. Further information was unavailable and images will not be released to the public as the suspects are minors.

Riders have reported a series of robberies on BART trains recently, SFGate stated, but this is apparently the first takeover type of incident.

BART’s new police chief, Carlos Rojas, whose hiring was announced last week, is hoping to increase the number of police officers both at stations and aboard trains, according to CBS San Francisco.

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