BART Police Say Many Fare Evaders Are Wanted Criminals

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—When people are stopped for minor violations by Bay Area Rapid Transit Police, they are often wanted for more serious crimes, according to a BART spokesperson.

For the first time ever, BART police totaled the number of people detained by officers in 2011 who are found to have outstanding arrest warrants.

“There were over 1,400 people that were contacted just for fare evasion alone that ended up having outstanding warrants,” said officer Era Jenkins who added the warrants were for offenses ranging from auto theft to bank robbery. “We will run your name if we find out we need to contact you for any reason.”

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Jenkins said a large number of people stopped for other violations like eating, drinking or smoking in stations or on trains were also wanted.

Officer Christopher Plumley said the majority of people he’s stopped are on probation or parole, meaning they can be searched.

“I would probably say 60 percent are on probation or parole,” Plumley said. “A lot of them that I find are drug-related.”

One of the most notable cases of a wanted rider being detained was a federal prison escapee who was stopped for fare evasion. Jenkins said that incident resulted in him being returned to U.S. Marshals.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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