BART electronics thefts down, yet some opportunists prevail

- BART police announced the arrest of a juvenile who stole a cell phone form a passenger Thursday evening and ran off.

BART says these grab and run thefts are an ongoing problem.

"He just grabbed it and snatched it right away," said the victim of the cell phone theft. He asked we not identify him.

He said he was on his way home the man was commuting home to Dublin.
      
"I was on my phone watching a show," he said.

It happened just as the train was pulling into the Castro Valley BART station at about 7:30 Thursday evening.
      
"They waited right before the door closed. They snatched the phone and ran out the door down the stairs, he says. 
       
BART police arrested the juvenile they say took the phone. They have not arrested the three other juveniles who were with him. Police have returned the phone to the owner.
       
"They are just looking for people who aren't paying attention and aren't securing their cell phones or iPads. That is something that is going to continue to occur until we educate the public," said BART Deputy Police Chief Ed Alvarez.

BART is now reminding passengers over the PA system about their electronics to protect them.
        
Police say theft of electronics has actually gone down steadily. There were 58 in March. That dropped to 27 in June.

But statistics show overall crime on BART was up 22 percent the first three months of this year, over the same time last year.

BART police say much of the crime on trains are crimes of opportunity.  And they say the system is too large to have officers riding the trains.
        
Thursday's victim says he was looking at his phone and not what was around him.

"I was glued to my phone and not very aware of my surroundings," he said.
        
He also says the experience on BART has him driving to work for the time being. But when he does get back on BART, he'll be more careful about taking out his iPhone.
 

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