Robberies and violent crime down on BART

Robberies and violent crimes are down so far this year on BART, but aggravated assaults and felony arrests are both up, according to data released by BART officials Tuesday morning.

A total of 137 violent crimes were reported on BART property from January through the end of April, down roughly 9 percent from 150 during the same timeframe last year.

There were 92 robberies reported, compared to 110 in 2017, dropping by more than 16 percent. Larceny and auto theft both dropped roughly 3 percent.

Aggravated assaults, however, increased from 34 to 43 — an increase of more than 26 percent — as did arrests.

Felony arrests have gone up 21 percent from 127 to 148, and misdemeanor arrests are up 5 percent from 390 to 410. BART officials say that last year’s numbers also reflect a 40 percent surge in arrests over the same period in 2016.

Bart police Chief Carlos Rojas attributed the data, at least in part, to an aggressive hiring campaign that has added 22 officers to the force over the last 18 months.

The agency has five officer candidates currently in police academies, and they still hope to fill 30 vacant officer positions.

Rojas said the hiring campaign is an important part of BART’s plan to improve safety for passengers.

Rojas said:

“Last year was our best for hiring since 2013 and we’re looking forward to building on that recruitment success.”