Video shows teens robbing person on SEPTA train, police say

A group of teens held a person captive on a SEPTA "El" train in West Philadelphia and stole their phone, police said

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Video shows a group of teenagers holding a person captive on a SEPTA train and then stealing their phone in West Philadelphia, police said.

The incident took place shortly before noon on a SEPTA “El” train on May 28, 2024. Police said several teenagers approached a person and forced them to remain on the train. They then grabbed the victim’s phone and fled at the next subway stop, according to investigators. Video shows one of the teens blocking the person from exiting the train as the other teens run off.

Video shows a group of teenagers robbing a woman on SEPTA's "El" train in West Philadelphia, police said. NBC10's Leah Uko has the details. 

If you have any information on the incident or suspects, please call the Southwest Detective Division at 215-686-3183/3184.

SEPTA recently received the highest honor from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for their efforts in improving safety and security for customers and employees. SEPTA also reported a 45% drop in serious crimes in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023. While reacting to news of the award however, SEPTA riders who spoke with NBC10 said they don’t feel safe and that the transit agency still has work to do.

Bryheem Crowder, a frequent SEPTA rider, told NBC10 he's witnessed and experienced confrontations with teenagers while on trains.

"They seen my hands in my pockets. They came up to me. I didn't react at all," he said. "They felt I had a gun. I didn't. Then the one kid said, 'You think you the only one holding? I got one too.' I still didn't react. Didn't say nothing."

In a statement, a spokesperson told NBC10 SEPTA has "adjusted patrols in response" to the recent robbery.

"In addition, SEPTA Police have been coordinating with PPD on patterns of incidents involving juveniles," a SEPTA spokesperson wrote. "Investigators are hopeful that someone will recognize the individuals shown in the video and contact police.

Correction (June 20, 9:51 a.m.): A previous version of this story identified the victim of this crime as a woman. NBC10 has learned that the person uses he/them pronouns and is not a woman. The story has been updated.

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