Blind BART Rider says she's robbed and getting no help from transit police
OAKLAND, Calif. - A GoFundMe has been established for a blind woman who was targeted by a robber while she was riding BART Thursday afternoon.
The suspect stole her Apple iPhone.
She told KTVU she wanted to share her experience to alert the public and to improve the way BART police officers respond to crime victims.
"I'm traumatized. I don't want to go on BART anymore and I'm a traveller," said Sammy Wredberg. She said she boarded the Richmond-bound train at the Fremont BART station.
The theft happened when the train pulled into the 12th Street BART station in Oakland.
"The doors opened and someone snatched the phone out of my hand and ran," said Wredberg," The cord was ripped out and I stood up and screamed. Somebody help me. Somebody help me," said Wredberg who became emotional as she described what happened.
She said the robbery was traumatic. Fortunately, a passenger helped her off the train and brought her to the station agent who notified BART police.
"I was just hysterical. I was crying. This never happened before. I didn't know what I was supposed to do," said the 30-year-old.
But she told KTVU the way she was treated by BART police officers who responded made matters worse.
"They found the phone on the Find My iPhone app and they said they're not going to do anything because they don't have a description of who they're looking for and I can't give one because I can't see," said Wredberg.
"We understand it's very traumatic when a crime happens," said BART spokesman Jim Allison.
BART officials said witnesses who helped Wredberg described the suspect as a male juvenile who was last seen running toward an exit and that police are pulling surveillance videos.
BART said the case is under investigation so it can't address the victim's complaint about the officers.
"If they have an issue, to contact the Office of the Independent Police Auditor," said Allison.
Wredberg said the thief stole her Apple iPhone 11 with a floral case that had special apps for the blind. She said the officers' insensitve and unhelpful attitude compounded her ordeal. "Me being more vulnerable. Life is already hard enough. I'm doing the best I can with what I have," said Wredberg.
Wredberg says she is grateful for the help she did receive.
She wants to thank the person who helped her get off the train and took her to the BART station agent, a second person who expressed concern and the station agent who helped calm her down.