Alert BART Employee Foils Credit Card Thief

Aug. 30, 2012
Credit card thief had two outstanding warrants for arrest

The swift actions of a BART employee lead to the arrest of a credit card thief who had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. On August 20, 2012, a BART employee at Lafayette Station was helping a customer trying to purchase a BART ticket when she noticed the man was attempting to use a credit card with a woman's name on it while also holding a woman's ID card. When she questioned him about it, he abruptly left the station before officers could arrive to investigate. Later, the employee saw him re-enter the station and immediately called BART Police who responded quickly and determined his real name to be Derek Pitts, a parolee who had two outstanding warrants for his arrest.

The BART employee later found a woman's wallet in a trash can at the station with identification that matched the name on the credit card the thief was trying to use. Officers contacted the owner of the wallet, who identified Pitts as the man who stole her purse from her job earlier that day, a crime she had reported to the Walnut Creek Police Department.

"BART Police is grateful for our employee's alert and conscientious actions," BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said. "Because she acted on her suspicions, BART Police Officers were able to thwart an additional crime from happening, the property owner will be reunited with her property, and another criminal has been taken off the streets. This is one of several scenarios this summer where someone stepped up, did the right thing and reported suspicious behavior, leading to a solid arrest. We strongly urge people to program 510 464 7000 into their mobile phones and call BART Police to report any suspicious activities on our system," Rainey added.

Pitts was booked at Martinez Detention Facility for being in possession of stolen property, theft, a parole violation, and two outstanding warrants.