OAKLAND (KRON) — It has happened again–a group of teenagers entered an Oakland BART station without paying and made their way onto the platform looking to board an oncoming train.
The incident sounds similar to a mob of teens evading ticket gates, boarding a BART train and robbing Oakland passengers over the weekend.
However, in the most recent incident, BART used a new tactic to prevent passengers from being robbed.
The transit agency is keeping the trains moving through the station when something like this occurs. It happened Tuesday night at the Lake Merritt BART station
“Last night, I guess the agent saw three or four juveniles, as she described it, not pay their fare,” Acting BART Deputy Chief Terence McCarty said.
McCarty says trains not stopping to let potentially dangerous groups of people board is one way to prevent mobs from attacking passengers.
“We have kind of introduced a protocol,” McCarty said. “This time it worked. It’s also in terms of our see something say something force multiplier with all our employees.”
Here is how it works: A BART employee observes a mob of people entering the station platform without paying. The employee then calls BART police.
“Notify our dispatch as well as central, and they did a protocol where they ran the train through,” McCarty said. “What is going on now is indicative of a more serious crime.”
The considerably more serious incident happened this past weekend at the Coliseum Station.
The juveniles got away in the Coliseum incident. Investigators say they have been able to identify suspects from surveillance videos in that case.
No arrests were made at Lake Merritt but police say the new tactic of not stopping the train worked.
“And the people who did not pay their fare ended up leaving because the trains did not stop,” McCarty said. “BART police responded to the scene but were not able to locate the individuals.”
BART officials say passengers who miss their stop because of this new security measure will have to exit at the next available BART station and get on a train heading back to their desired stop after it is safe to do so.
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