SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Police Department has made multiple arrest in connection to a series of strong-arm robberies that transpired on SF Muni transit buses starting in early July. According to a press release from the SFPD, the San Francisco Police Department’s Muni Task Force (MTF) began an investigation into the series of robberies and worked with SFPD District Station investigators to identify similarities in suspect descriptions and criminal patterns.

The robberies occurred on Muni buses in the Tenderloin, Southern, Northern and Central Police Districts. The investigation led to the identity of the suspects involved in several of these brutal robberies, including two high profile cases that occurred on Muni buses near the intersection of Van Ness and McAllister Streets.

“Keeping San Francisco’s Muni system safe is a high priority for the SFPD,” said Police Chief William Scott. “Members of our Muni Task Force, Muni Response Team and MTA K-9Canine Unit work closely with MTA employees to help keep Muni safe and to investigate crimes when they do occur. The arrests made in these robbery cases are a direct reflection of this level of cooperation and spirit of team work between our agencies”

On July 17, a strong-arm robbery transpired on a bus at Van Ness Avenue and McAllister Street, where a male victim who left one coach to board another was followed by a pack of suspects who assaulted and robbed him of his cellphone. On July 19, officers identified and arrested Clay Doss, 19, of Antioch for his involvement in the incident that occurred with several juveniles on MUNI. Doss, who was already in custody for an unrelated warrant, was also charged with possession of stolen property.

Investigators charged a 13 year-old, female, San Francisco resident and a 15 year-old, male, of San Leandro with robbery and conspiracy. A 14 year-old, male, from San Francisco was also identified and booked for robbery, conspiracy, and felony battery of a passenger on a transit vehicle.

On July 18, a female victim was assaulted and robbed by a group of suspects while on a bus near Van Ness Avenue and McAllister Street. The suspects fled the scene with the victim’s phone, but Good Samaritans intervened and helped to recover the victim’s phone. Investigators identified a 15 year-old female, a 13 year-old female, and 13 year-old male, all residents of San Francisco, as suspects in this case. Arrest warrants for robbery, felony battery and conspiracy are pending and the investigation is ongoing.

“Our enforcement staff works extremely hard with the San Francisco Police Department to make Muni safe for riders and employees,” said Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. “Crime has decreased over the years, due in part to cameras on all Muni vehicles that can record key evidence and be used to support police investigations, as well as using pertinent data to deploy resources more efficiently. We thank our partners at the Police Department for quickly responding to these incidents and making key arrests.”

With multiple arrests made, MTF investigators have witnessed a large drop in incidents of these “pack style” strong-arm robberies. The case remains active and investigators are continuing to work to identify outstanding suspects. Anyone with information on any of the robberies are asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.

Written By Casey Jacobs