Two men were arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism at BART’s Richmond maintenance yard during the recent strike, and investigators are looking into whether they are responsible for other graffiti sprees that occurred throughout the system during the same time period.
Llubani Hernandez, 23, and Zachary Borders, 25, were arrested around 2:35 a.m. Saturday for allegedly tagging the BART yard with graffiti, BART Deputy Police Chief Ben Farrow said.
During the four-day strike, which began Friday and ended Monday, people also vandalized the Glen Park and Balboa Park BART stations in San Francisco, as well as the 19th Street Oakland station, a Millbrae storage area, a maintenance pathway in San Francisco and a BART maintenance yard in Concord, Farrow said.
Farrow said investigators are looking into whether Hernandez and Borders were responsible for any of the other cases.
During an earlier four-day strike by BART workers in July, there were two other graffiti incidents, but Farrow said he didn’t know if they were related to the ones this weekend.
He said there was no estimate yet for how much damage the vandalism caused, but he said removal of the graffiti at the Glen Park station will cost thousands of dollars.
Farrow said the graffiti there and on the maintenance pathway in San Francisco will take a while to clean up because it is on the right-of-way and can only be addressed in the overnight hours when trains aren’t running.
He also noted that some of the graffiti may have occurred following the deaths of two workers on the tracks on Saturday afternoon, which prompted BART to stop running trains along all of its lines.
Prior to that, trains were running throughout the system during the strike for maintenance and training purposes but did not carry any riders, BART officials said.
Farrow said that not having those trains running after the worker deaths “made it more difficult to monitor” the 100-plus miles of the BART right-of-way.
The train that hit the two workers was heading back to Concord after towing cars that had been tagged with graffiti to the Richmond yard for cleaning.
Anyone with information about the graffiti cases is asked to call BART police at (510) 464-7000.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News