Sign in / Join
1133

BART police arrest suspect in teen mob robbery at Coliseum Saturday

FILE/LAURA A. ODA/Bay Area News Group BART police arrest suspect in teen mob robbery at Coliseum Saturday

SAN LEANDRO — BART police on Friday arrested a juvenile suspected of robbing patrons at the Coliseum station Saturday night, when a mob of 50 to 60 young people swarmed a train.

Police arrested a student at San Leandro High School, said Acting BART police Chief Jeff Jennings. Officers arrested the student shortly before 1 p.m. on suspicion of robbery charges, said BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost.

The department has issued three arrest warrants for suspects in the case, Jennings said.

At around 9:20 p.m. last Saturday, a mob of 50 to 60 youths leaving a party in the area hopped the fare gates at Coliseum station, Jennings said on Thursday. They rushed through a train car, with some holding the doors open as others in the group robbed six people and beat two others, leaving them with minor injuries to their head and face. A seventh person was also robbed on the platform of the station, BART officials said.

Detectives were able to use high-quality video from inside the train car to identify several suspects, some of whom had been arrested by BART officers in the past, Jennings said.

The incident has rattled BART riders and is raising questions about whether the agency should do more to beef up it’s policing efforts or crack down on fare evaders, two issues that it has been wrestling with in recent months.

At its bimonthly meeting Thursday, BART’s governing board discussed possible solutions to stymie would-be fare cheats, including raising barriers at the gates up to five feet to make them harder to jump, increasing enforcement efforts and using new video surveillance technology to better understand how free-loading passengers game the system.

Check back for updates.