BART Police is releasing a video of a cell phone snatching incident that occurred this week at 12th Street/Oakland City Center Station to remind riders to always be aware of their surroundings, day or night. The Dec. 11 video shows a thief grabbing a cell phone from an unsuspecting rider before running up the escalator then jumping the faregates to escape. Once the crime was reported at 1:38.p.m., dispatchers alerted officers systemwide. BART PD Officers arrested 20-year-old Trevel Thomas at Powell Street Station less than an hour later.
View the video (in three segments) at: http://www.youtube.com/user/BARTnewsfeed/videos. BART is able to release this video because Thomas confessed to the crime and this case is now closed. Thomas was booked at the Glen Dyer Jail in Oakland. Subsequently the Alameda County DA's Office charged him with robbery.
“Smartphone thefts are on the rise nationwide, so we are hoping this video will serve as a clear reminder for riders to remain alert and aware of your belongings and surroundings,” said Era Jenkins, spokeswoman for BART Police. “We encourage passengers to hold their belongings close to their bodies and make eye contact with those nearby. Be extra cautious when standing near quick escape routes like escalators, stairs and train doors.”
CRIME PREVENTION TIPS
- Keep wallets and electronics secure–use purses or bags with zippered compartments
- Avoid carrying your wallets or other valuables in back pockets
- Be wary of someone trying to create a distraction, such as dropping coins or bumping into you–some pickpockets work in teams
- Don’t leave anything—from small change to shopping bags—in your vehicle for thieves to see
- Report suspicious activity to BART Police at (510) 464-7000
- Program the BART police number above into your mobile phone so you can call it quickly from almost anywhere in the BART system