VIDEO: Rider launches website to inform public about wave of BART crimes

 

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A BART rider has taken matters into his own hands to make sure the word gets out about crime on BART.

He launched a website BARTcrimes.com after the latest wave of robberies, and on Wednesday, KRON4 talked to the man.

He said that BART decides which crimes it reports to the public on a case-by-case basis. That is something that the new chief has been criticized for.

The software engineer KRON4 talked with says he rides the BART, and he doesn’t think it’s good to shelter people from the information.

Nearly every reported crime on BART is now logged on a new website created by Ben Friedland.

He says he sees mostly thefts involving cell phones, autos, and bikes.

“Certain stations are hot spots for certain types of crimes,” Friedland said. “I’ve seen some stations that bike theft is rampant at and other stations where it never happens at all. So, as a ride, I might choose to bike to one station as opposed to another knowing that kind of thing.”

Friedland has a subscription to a daily police log of crimes that happen on BART.

“I didn’t think it was good to kind of shelter people from information,” Friedland said. “So, when they send out daily emails, I subscribe to that list, and I publish those emails publically.”

Riders KRON4 talked with like that idea.

“I think it’s good that he has a website that other consumers of BART would be able to see where the high crimes areas are, and they can either avoid that or maybe change their route a little bit or always go with a buddy,” BART rider Carla Duke said.

“I’d be interested in that,” Markus Huber added. “I’d be interested in that because you don’t know. You see characters hanging around stations. And if I knew there is a certain station where there’s more of that going on, I’d be more aware.”

Friedland and other riders KRON4 talked with say they still feel generally safe riding BART.

“I have to say I feel safe on it,” Huber said. “I’m very aware of my surroundings all the time, so I’m aware of what’s going on and what can go on.”

But many would also like to see more police presence at stations.

And they say until they see that, the more crime information they can get their hands on, the better equipped they will feel to stay safe while riding.

According to the new site, West Oakland sees the most number of crimes while Fremont is one of the safest.

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