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Bart police watchtower appears for several hours at San Francisco station

a bart train is seen in a dark tunnel at a station
A BART train stops at the Embarcadero BART Station on June 6, 2023. | Source: Isaac Ceja/The Standard

A new BART police tower appeared for several hours on Monday at the 24th Street Mission Station on Monday to deter criminals, according to the transit agency—and then was gone by early evening.

The BART plaza in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood is known as a hub for the illegal sale of stolen goods, including laundry detergent, candy and other items frequently snatched from nearby Walgreens stores.

The scissor-lift police lookouts are "deployed in multiple locations around the system on a temporary basis to provide a highly visible deterrent against crime," BART spokesperson Chris Filippi explained.

BART Police Tower at 24th St Plaza
by u/ram1970sf in sanfrancisco

Filippi said the tower would be in place at the 24th Street station indefinitely and did not elaborate on what kinds of crime it's meant to deter. But by the time The Standard showed up to the plaza around 6 p.m., the tower was nowhere to be seen.

BART Police have used lookouts like the one installed Monday as a crime deterrent since 2013 and currently have two such scissor-lift towers to deploy across the agency's multicounty transit system, according to Filippi.

When reached for comment, San Francisco Supervisor Hilary Ronen, who represents the Mission, said the tower was news to her.

"This is the first I heard of this," she wrote in a text to The Standard. "We're making calls."

This is a developing story.