Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Stolen car parts in BART parking lots?

I received an email from a reader about his experience. Somehow, having a car part stolen during the day at a BART station DOES NOT SURPRISE ME AT ALL! It seems like the lots can go unmonitored for quite some time. I know people whose cars had been broken into under bright daylight! Also, I was once told that you weren't allowed to put flyers on parked cars in the BART lots. REALLY? Because a few times I find myself returning to not one, not two, but three flyers left on my car. One on the right side of my windshield, one on my left, and on stuffed in the side window. I'm trying to make a point here-- it is pretty easy to "do things" at the BART parking lots. You've all seen beer bottles left there. So, it doesn't shock me that this reader sent me the email below.

Take a look. Has this happen to you? Do you know if this happens?

Dear bartmusings,
Yesterday, I was walking to my truck at El Cerrito Plaza Station and happened to take a peak under it (was overcome by a funny feeling) and guess what? thieves stole my catalytic converter! I guess the thieves extract the valuable metals (Platinum and Palladium) and sell them. I Googled around for this topic and it says that 1 Catalytic Converter can fetch $50 - $100 on the scrap market.
Based on my Google research, reports of Catalytic Converters being stolen have occurred at Orinda, El Cerrito Plaza, North Berkeley, and El Cerrito Del Norte. This phenomenon seems to have started this year.
Thieves like the 1990's Toyota Trucks and any SUV with enough ground clearance. A Catalytic Converter can be stolen in a minute or so depending on if it is welded or bolted to the tail pipe. My truck, it was bolted, so it only cost me $150 to fix, I installed it myself.
I have not gone to BART Police yet, I figured since I have only seen them 5 times in my 10 years of riding BART, that they would have little interest in knowing about this. I have never seen BART Police doing foot or other patrols in the station parking lots.
I would like to know has anyone else had this happen to them? What has anyone heard from BART Police about this?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry, man, you are out of luck there. I've had my car broken into at Del Norte BART and reported to BART POLICE and they took a report and that's about as far as you will get. My IPod accessories were taken from the car, along with my cycling gear.

Anonymous said...

i hate to say it, but i think BART police are like rent-a-cops. maybe these guys couldn't make it in the real police force... having lived in the bay area all of my life (taking BART), i've never seen a BART cop do anything... oh, i think they gave a friend of mine a ticket once.

bartmusings said...

well, i don't know if they are rent-a-cops, maybe they are officers in training (taking a small step before the big one) or retired officers who desire a calmer life? but i do have to say that they don't do nearly enough, or there aren't enough of them to enforce the "little" things that may not be so little to us!

Anonymous said...

BART police are real cops. They go through the same Police Academy as most other cops. Unless it's changed, they use the facilities of the Alameda County Police Academy in the Dublin area. Their requirements to pass the Academy are among the strictest in the state. This comes from someone who went through their Academy. And, no, it was not me.

Surprisingly, with all this training, they don't appear to do much.

bartmusings said...

Wow, interesting. Thanks for that tidbit. I didn't know that. Well, they should definitely do more than with all the training and capabilities they have! I can name a dozen things they may consider minor but would really help the BART atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

Like what?

bartmusings said...

So you want to know what I'm talking about exactly. I think of different examples everyday but the one that pops out at me most is what happened to me today and many other times in the past. Right outside the Market/8th exit off Civic Center station, there are homeless people coming up to passengers exiting up the stairs or escalators, asking for money, for food, for cigarettes, or whatever. I don't mind solicitations, but it's when they are hostile that I feel unsafe. If you ignore them, they yell obscenities at you. If you say sorry, I don't have anything, they curse you too. Occasionally, they spit at you. Once I've even had one point a plastic toy gun at my head closely (I wrote about this back in 2005).

I've written the BART comment site about this several times. I never saw a visible difference or increase in BART police presence around there.

A coworker and I once told a ticket agent that there's blood on the stairs and all she said was it happens all the time, what do you want me to do about it. I said, well, maybe it should be cleaned up, and I don't know, maybe someone's hurt? If anything, I was stunned by her attitude.

For anyone who will likely blame me and other passengers for these mishaps, please hold back your criticisms and really think about why there isn't more BART police presence at a known to be troublesome stations like Civic Center/UN Plaza?

Anonymous said...

I asked a bart police a question once but he did not want to be disturbed as he was reading his morning paper in the union city station.He's an old fart bart cop $ does nothing but sit in car and read the papers then he'll walk to the bart attendant and chat. they do NOTHING while the thieves are having a ball stealing all over the parking lots.

Anonymous said...

I asked a bart police a question once but he did not want to be disturbed as he was reading his morning paper in the union city station.He's an old fart bart cop $ does nothing but sit in car and read the papers then he'll walk to the bart attendant and chat. they do NOTHING while the thieves are having a ball stealing all over the parking lots.

Anonymous said...

The two catalytic converters of my Toyota SUV were stolen today, I barely made it to the gas station for help, they estimated $600-$2,000 just for parts, don't know how much overall cost for this mishap. Ironically, two of the employees there said their catalytic converters were also stolen before (not in the BART parking lot though). They also said that to cut off the parts, the thieves had to use electronic tools which made very loud noise. I can't believe that BART police won't hear that!!! It's ridiculous how inefficient they are...

Anonymous said...

By the way, I am the one that just got catalytic converters stolen, and it occurred at Orinda parking lot. Everything happened in the daytime, between 8:00am and 6:30pm.