The Marin County Sheriff's Office is reporting "an alarming increase" in robberies in the Marin City area, many of them targeting users of a transit center.
Since January 2008 there have been 26 robberies in Marin City, 15 of which were strong-arm robberies, the sheriff's office announced this morning.
Eleven of the robberies involved the use of a gun and most of the robberies occurred when it was dark.
The most recent robbery was Monday when a cab driver dropping off a customer on Eureka Street was robbed at gunpoint, Sgt. Debra Barry said.
Of the 26 robberies, 14 involved passengers who were waiting to board or had just disembarked from a transit bus at 150 Donahue St., Barry said.
Several of the robbery victims were followed to the bus stop into nearby apartment complexes where they were robbed of cash and cell phones, Barry said.
Other victims were followed to the U.S. Highway 101 underpass and robbed of cash, phones and laptop computers, Barry said.
There have been five robbery arrests in the past 12 months in the Marin City area but the crimes continue, the sheriff's office said.
Authorities are concerned about a recent increase in robberies involving firearms and physical assaults even after the victims have surrendered their property, Barry said.
"We believe that many of the suspects committing these robberies are known to area residents, but so far, no one has been willing to come forward and report what they have seen," Barry said.
"Effective policing requires community participation. Unfortunately, those most able to identify the people who are preying on Marin City residents and visitors have been unwilling to assist law enforcement in dealing with this growing problem," Barry said.
The sheriff's office has stepped up enforcement and assigned two deputies to a walking beat in the area. The sheriff's office also is working with transit officials to increase passenger awareness of the growing problem, cautioning them to be aware of their surroundings and watchful of anyone who follows them, Barry said.
Any suspicious activity should immediately be reported by calling the sheriff's office at 415-479-2311 or 911 in an emergency, Barry said.