VIDEO: Police investigating string of East Bay BART parking lot auto burglaries, car thefts this week

 

OAKLAND (KRON) — There have been seven auto-related crimes in BART parking lots so far this week.

That number might not sound like a lot when you consider BART has over 47,000 parking stalls system wide.

However, four of those auto crimes, one car theft and three auto burglaries, happened in one day in the parking lot of the Coliseum Station.

“We did note quite a few auto thefts and burglaries that have occurred,” BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas said.

BART’s new police chief Rojas has only been on the job a few days and is well aware of the situation.”

“I think one of the things that we look at when we have these crime spikes is it something that is a series or a trend or a pattern that has been identified? Or is it an anomaly that has occurred? Because you have a suspect that has hit multiple locations. That’s always a possibility,” Rojas said.

BART customers who park at the Coliseum Station have mixed views on vehicle safety.

This man asked not to reveal identity.

“Yeah, this lot needs more protection,” the man said. “It’s a crap shoot whether your vehicle will be broken into or not.”

Other riders say they want more security.

“We need police patrol at all times going around looking at these cars, scaring people off,” BART customer Nena Byrd said.

BART parking patrols have been increased in the wake of these auto crimes.

The police tower has also been brought in as a deterrent.

One man says he has parked at the station for years and has never had any problems.

“I have been parking here for four years, and other than seeing shattered glass, I haven’t experienced any issues,” Ray Oppenheimer said.

In fact, BART officials say auto-related crimes are down 20 percent from this time last year.

“It is something that we are constantly addressing, whether it is using some focused enforcement using our watch tower, overseeing parking lots that are seeing an increase in auto burglaries, or auto thefts. So, it is a constant problem that we have, and we are a microcosm of the communities we serve,” Rojas said.

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