BART's new chief takes over as crime stats up, new sex battery reported

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BART gets a new police chief at a time when crime statistics are up, including a sexual battery reported Wednesday night at the North Berkeley station.
 
Former Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas is also the transit agency's first Latino chief.
 
He'll have to tackle such problems as increased robberies of electronic devices, including a high-profile case April 22 where about 50 juveniles committed up to seven robberies while riding BART, and a sexual battery reported about 9 p.m. at the Berkeley station on Wednesday. The suspect in that case ran away, BART officials said.
 
In April, BART reported a 22 percent spike in nearly all types of crimes since the start of the year compared with the same time period last year, the East Bay Times reported. The uptick follows three years of declines, with a 3 percent decrease in overall crime in 2016 and a 5 percent drop in 2015.
 
Rojas has 27 years of experience, according to BART, and is a trained educator in community policing. He has taught forces in Central America and has Homeland Security expertise.
 
Rojas is a recipient of multiple law enforcement medals of valor, and is bilingual in English and Spanish.  He holds a masters of science in criminal justice from Chapman University, and a bachelor of science in criminal justice from California State University, Long Beach, with additional professional training at the FBI National Academy. 
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