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Rail News: Security

BART arrests soared 40 percent in 2017

The increase in arrests came amid an uptick in electronic thefts on the BART system.
Photo – Bay Area Rapid Transit


Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) yesterday released its 2017 crime data showing a nearly 40 percent surge in arrests compared to 2016.

In 2017, BART police officers made 1,730 arrests versus 1,238 arrests in the previous year.

The increase in arrests came amid an uptick in electronic thefts on the BART system. Last year, 417 electronic thefts were reported on BART, up 52 percent from 2016, agency officials said in a press release.

In addition, BART logged a 24 percent increase in violent crimes on its system. Since some cellphone thefts involve the use of force or fear, they're considered robberies, which are classified as violent crimes.

"We're doing all we can to increase the visible presence of our officers on trains and in stations and we think that effort is making a difference," said BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas. "We are also utilizing new strategies based on data and crime trends that allow us to deploy our officers in the most effective way possible."

The 2017 crime figures also reflected BART's increased focus on fare evasion. Last year, there were 8,223 instances in which BART police officers issued citations, warnings or otherwise contacted suspected fare evaders. That marks an 88 percent increase from similar instances in 2016.

This year, BART will continue to crack down on fare evaders. The agency also is deploying a team of community service officers and hardening station infrastructure to make it more difficult to pay without entering.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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