Apparently bandits are running wild in California. I put "teen" in quotes because who really knows how old these bandits are?

BART police are beefing up patrols at Oakland stations after dozens of juveniles terrorized riders Saturday night when they invaded the Coliseum Station and commandeered at least one train car, forcing passengers to hand over bags and cell phones and leaving at least two with head injuries.

The incident occurred around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Witnesses told police that 40 to 60 juveniles flooded the station, jumped the fare gates and rushed to the second-story train platform. Some of the robbers apparently held open the doors of a Dublin-bound train car while others streamed inside, confronting and robbing and in some cases beating riders.

I feel like the police and media are being pretty quick to blame "juveniles" because it makes the horrendous failure of the government seem less scary. How do they know this mob of bandits consisted of kids? Did someone check all their IDs? What proportion of the bandits were kids? Were there some adults present leading the banditry?

Saying "teens" and "juveniles" makes it sound like this attack was some kind of misguided prank rather than a victory for chaos over the forces of law and order.

"I've been there 24 years and this is the first time I've heard of anything like this happening," said Keith Garcia, a BART police officer and union president.

So, things in California are getting worse.

Alicia Trost, a BART spokeswoman, said Monday that seven people were robbed -- with the victims losing a purse, a duffel bag and five phones. Six people were robbed inside the train car, with a seventh confronted on the platform, she said. Police received no reports of guns or other weapons being brandished.

A police summary prepared after the incident said that at least two victims suffered injuries to the face or head that required medical attention.

How many people reported injuries or assaults that didn't require medical attention? I bet it was a lot.

The attack was so quick, police reported, that the teenagers were able to retreat from the station and vanish into the surrounding East Oakland neighborhood before BART officers could respond. The train was held for about 15 minutes as authorities interviewed victims and witnesses and tended to the injured.

Bandits running rampant. Law enforcement has completely lost control of a swathe of territory right in the heart of one of the richest areas of the country. How humiliating.

Trost said police arrived at the station in less than 5 minutes, but that the robberies took place in just seconds.

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away. The outcome would have been different if some of the victims had been armed, and the bandits would think twice before trying again if a few of them had gotten shot. As it is, if all 40-60 aren't arrested, prosecuted, and punished then the government in California has basically given up its sovereignty.

(HT: Althouse, who is surprised that the police aren't releasing the surveillance video of the attack because the criminals are "juveniles". I guess it would be an invasion of their privacy.)

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