Two suspects boarded a San Francisco Municipal Railway train and robbed a young woman at gunpoint before fleeing at the next station Tuesday night, police said today.
The incident occurred at about 8:10 p.m. on a nearly empty M-line light-rail vehicle heading between the Church and Duboce and Van Ness Muni stations, according to police.
The two suspects, a man and a woman, boarded the train at Church and Duboce, and sat behind an 18-year-old San Francisco woman who was traveling alone, police said.
The male suspect then got up and confronted the victim, demanding she hand over her wallet, according to police reports. She instead offered to give the suspect money if he would just return to her seat, but the man refused and drew a handgun, police said.
A struggle ensued and the man grabbed her purse and pushed her against a pole in the car when she tried to get it back, according to police.
The suspects fled at the Van Ness station. Police said it did not appear the female suspect was directly involved in the robbery.
The victim, distraught and crying, spoke with a station agent who called police. The car’s only other occupant, a 36-year-old woman, also stopped and spoke with police.
While robberies aboard Muni buses are not uncommon, police today could not recall a similar armed robbery incident on Muni’s train system.
Police spokesman Sgt. Wilfred Williams called it an “unusual” and “very unfortunate incident occurring on our public transit system.”
“The safety and security of our customers is our first priority, so clearly this is a disturbing incident,” said Muni spokesman Judson True. “We will do everything we can to aid the police in their investigation.”
The male suspect was described as a white male, about 18 or 19 years old, 175 pounds, with short brown hair. He was wearing a black baseball cap and dark jacket.
The woman with him was described as a white female, 5 feet 5 inches tall and 130 pounds, with light brown hair. She was wearing a red-and-black checkered jacket.
Police said the woman’s wallet and ID were later found nearby on the street and returned to her. The suspects were believed to have made off with the purse and school supplies that were inside.