Two teenage suspects were arrested Thursday after an attempted robbery aboard a BART train in which they allegedly pepper-sprayed the 61-year-old victim.
The incident happened around 2 p.m., as the East Bay Times reports, and the victim was approached by the suspects as the train approached West Oakland Station. The two boys, ages 15 and 16, made an attempt to steal the victim's backpack, with the younger suspect allegedly wielding the pepper spray.
The victim, who is from San Francisco, managed to hold on to his bag, and the two suspects fled the train before it left the station. They were both soon arrested, one in the station parking lot and one a few blocks away.
Both suspects live in Oakland.
Crime on BART has not seemed as rampant since the pandemic began, with ridership still at levels far below what they were — making these crimes of opportunity, like strong-arm robberies, less available to thieves.
An investigation in late 2019 found that BART saw four violent crimes per million trips on the system, which may not sound like a lot but is almost triple the rate seen on New York's MTA.
The most violent crime in the system at the time happened at Oakland's Coliseum Station, with 154 incidents over five years, followed by Fruitvale (121), Bayfair (113), and West Oakland (88).
Photo: Giorgio Trovato