BART Warns Riders About Spike In Cellphone Thefts

CASTRO VALLEY (KPIX 5) — In response to a rash of cellphone thefts on BART trains this year, the transit agency is rolling out a new campaign warning riders of the danger.

Cell phones on BART platforms and trains have become an easy target for thieves.

So far this year, BART police say thieves have stolen 225 electronic devices from riders. In all of 2016, BART saw a total of 274 cell phone thefts.

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Last week, at the Castro Valley station, BART police arrested a suspect for allegedly snatching a phone from a passenger just as the train doors closed.

“Well it is scary. And they just rip it out of your hands too,” said BART rider Jasmin Sun. “Better to be a little more cautious about it.”

bart cell phone theft warning BART Warns Riders About Spike In Cellphone Thefts

BART cell phone theft warning poster (CBS)

BART officials say they want rider to know about the cell phone thefts. That’s why the agency has launched an awareness campaign that includes posters and audio announcements alert riders to keep their phones secure.

The message on the poster reads, in part, “Protect your phone! Especially near train doors and while waiting on the platform.”

When asked if the recent phone thefts would change his habits on the train or the platform, BART rider Keith Chung said, “Not so much on the train, but maybe on the platform. I am hoping the new security cameras make it a little safer.”

In June, as part of its crime-fighting efforts, BART finished installing working security cameras on all trains.

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