Monday's HOT MIC
BART takeover robbery: 40 to 60 teens swarm train, rob weekend riders
A recent string of robberies on BART trains took a frightening turn when dozens of juveniles swarmed an Oakland station over the weekend and commandeered a train car, forcing passengers to hand over bags and cell phones and leaving at least two with head injuries, witnesses told the transit agency.
The incident — the first of its kind in recent memory — occurred around 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Coliseum Station.
According to a police officials[sic], witnesses said 40 to 60 juveniles flooded the station, jumped the fare gates and rushed to the second-story train platform. Some of the robbers apparently held open the doors of a Dublin-bound train car while others streamed inside, confronting and robbing and in some cases beating riders.
The juveniles “committed multiple strong-arm robberies of bags and cell phones,” said a police summary prepared after the incident. “At least two victims suffered head/facial injuries requiring medical attention.”
Alicia Trost, a BART spokeswoman, said Monday that seven robberies had occurred — with victims losing a purse, a duffel bag and five phones. Six people were robbed inside the train car, with a seventh confronted on the platform, she said.
The attack was quick, police reported, and the teenagers were able to retreat from the station and vanish into the surrounding East Oakland neighborhood before BART officers could respond. The train that was hit was held for about 15 minutes as authorities investigated the crime and tended to the injured.