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Robberies on trains: x-ray of a crime that changed the way of traveling in the metropolitan area


Despite the fact that they incorporated monitored security cameras, totems for 911 complaints and that there are federal police officers at the stations, cell phone thefts and outbursts do not stop.

In the background a street vendor.

Behind the conversations, the noise of a full train appears through the telephone.

Alejandra Cruzado (21) speaks from

the same train

that a week ago revolutionized everything forever.

-Are you on the train?

-Yes, she answers and laughs awkwardly.


I don't know how I get on yet.

On Wednesday, January 25 at 4:00 p.m., his sister Flavia Cruzado (19) took the Belgrano Norte train at Los Polvorines.

She was with her little sister, Katy (14), on the way to the dentist, in Saavedra.

Flavia Cruzado was robbed on a train and then thrown onto the tracks: she lost one of her legs.

They made a station and, in Villa de Mayo, Flavia

's cell phone was taken away


The young woman tried to struggle to hold him back and the train, which is diesel and does not have self-closing doors, started off.

Flavia failed to stabilize and her leg got stuck between the platform and the wagon: she fell onto the tracks.

The train went on with Katy on top, she didn't know what to do.

Flavia was left lying on the ground with

injuries to her legs and arm


She was rushed to the hospital.

As reported in Ferrovías to


, at 4:07 p.m. the train left the Villa de Mayo station.

At 4:11 p.m., a SAME ambulance attended the scene along with a fire truck.

At 4:22 p.m., she was transferred by ambulance to the Federico Abete Trauma Hospital in Pablo Nogués, where

her right leg was amputated


On Friday she was referred to Los Arcos Sanatorium, in Palermo, where she remains in intensive care.

From her house in Villa de Mayo to Palermo, Alejandra travels on a Belgrano Norte train.

There is no other possible option if she wants to take care of her sister.

Alejandra is the oldest of the four and they all live with her father.

Flavia was taken off the ventilator last Monday night but still unable to speak.

The first thing she asked was about her leg: "What happened to me?" She questioned innocently.

Villa de Mayo, the Belgrano Norte train station where Flavia's cell phone was taken away and thrown onto the tracks.

Photo: Juano Tesone

Alejandra didn't want to, couldn't, listen to his reaction.

But she celebrates that she is recovering, she tells


holding his cell phone tightly because he knows - like all users - that

there are no possible carelessness

when traveling.

A modality that does not stop

According to official estimates around

30 million people per month

use the trains in the metropolitan area.

Among them there is everything: from passengers who travel with knives to “defend themselves” from possible thieves, to users who stopped using their phones on the platforms to guards who warn passengers to put away their cell phones before arriving at the stations.

Whether at the Sarmiento, Belgrano Sur or Belgrano Norte, Mitre, Roca or San Martín stations, outbursts have changed the way of traveling for years.

The backpacks in front, the wallet tightly clinging and the phone in the pocket, are

some of the strategies

that are repeated among users.

The robbers' preferred booty is cell phones. According to private estimates, it is estimated that

around 4,000,000 phones are stolen per day

in different scenarios.

Outbursts on trains and the Villa de Mayo station, where Flavia Cruzado's cell phone was taken away and thrown onto the tracks.

Photo: Juano Tesone

The equation closes: if they are captured,

the penalties are low and there are no serious consequences for the assailants


Almost every citizen has a phone and most likely it was in their hands at the time of the robbery.

The distractions and high costs of smartphones make them attractive for resale, in illegal and poorly controlled businesses.

It is an equation that closes but that, being so daily, sometimes ends in tragedy.

“What they steal the most are cell phones and women's wallets.

People also stay at the doors with their cell phones, the kids pass by and grab it.

When I go to take the train, I check if there are calls from relatives, but if not, I don't take out my cell phone,” Javier told


at the Villa de Mayo station in Belgrano Norte.

“Once when I was traveling on the train, near the door, a kid looked at me and told me to get out of here that we are going to do something.

There were two of them, one cleared the way and the other ran out with a phone”.

In Belgrano Norte the concession is in charge of Ferrovías.

As reported to


there are "two police officers per station and 20 security cameras in each one."

In addition, from 7 to 6 am, the Federal Police go up to the formations.

They are always the same guys

, they get off at Villa de Mayo and there they disappear.

They are like band-aids and they know the schedules well, they keep checking you out, they look at you.

I don't go out with my cell phone in my hand”, says Evelyn in Los Polvorines.

In all cases, the security of the stations is in charge of the Ministry of National Security and federal forces, mainly the Federal Police.

Brenda Bigiatti was thrown off the train after being robbed in 2018. It was at the Don Torcuato station in Belgrano Norte, the same branch where Flavia was attacked.

In Argentine Trains, in charge of the Belgrano Sur, Mitre, Sarmiento, Roca and San Martín lines, guard 728 Federal police officers and 540 private security guards guard the 245 stations, through which one billion users circulate a year.

"There are some

4,300 cameras installed

and we are installing some 900 more during this 2023", they indicated in the service operator.

A year ago they created the Safe Trains program that includes, they announce, 100 security towers and 260 totems connected with 911. However, in the tours carried out by


, users said they were unaware of this possibility.

"Based on an active policy of prevention and carrying out coordinated operations with other security forces, 43% fewer incidents and 164% more detainees

were achieved

," they say, and according to their statistics they recorded "1,369 incidents in terms of prevention of crime, 292 in drug law enforcement, 65 robbery attempts and 59 mobile phone robbery attempts".

These numbers are not correlated with passengers, who see robberies "all the time." "As for insecurity here it is heavy, we are from La Plata and we had to take great care of ourselves.

Once we saw that a kid grabbed a girl's cell phone and ran down the tunnel, since it's not fenced it's a shortcut so they can run and hide.

I carry my backpack ahead, I'm used to it," said Yeila, a user of Sarmiento.

An employee of Sarmiento confided to


: “Before there were more police officers.

There must be federal police on top of the trains yes or yes.

Here they circulate, there are always two or three.

And there has to be another one at the box office.

But there they take a single turn and remain stopped.

That's why they put security totems that communicate with 911. Here you have cameras everywhere.

The totem gives an alert to the monitoring center which is then in charge of calling the police”.

The Ministry of National Security, for its part, announced the "Safe Train Stations and Corridors" Operation in October 2021. According to its announcements, there are 6,000 Gendarmerie and Prefecture agents Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 18 to 21 to strengthen surveillance at peak times, especially around the stations, as reported on the official website.

In none of the stations covered by


could federal forces personnel be seen in the surroundings.

“It is a day to day here.

We travel at five, I know I don't have to take out my cell phone here.

When there are more people they mix together, they grab and run away.

Many times the clothes they take off are thrown away, because they carry changes of clothes on them, and then when they steal they change.

There you no longer know who they were ”, reviews a Sarmiento user about the strategies to avoid the security cameras.

Ricardo is a user of Belgrano Norte and at the Sordeaux station he told


: “The cameras are there, but we have to see if they work.

Sometimes they put surveillance, the Federal Police is on the train.

Twice this saved me, that's how I take care of myself.

It's a knife.

I always say if they let me and I first (sic), nobody is going to take mine, the little I have is hard for me to earn.

It is not fair that I walk like this, ”says Raúl and surprises with the violence of his story.

In Banfield, María del Carmen uses the Roca and says: “Unfortunately, there is never any security, neither on the platforms nor on top of the train.

Yesterday in Turdera, a woman who was sitting in the last wagon had her cell phone stolen.

At that station it's easy to steal because they run down the track, they don't go out through the station.

They jump and off they go.

That is why in the last wagons you have to be more careful or there should be someone to take care of you.

In some places there are cameras, but you don't know if they work either, ”she complains.

Gerli, another station on the same route, is known for outbursts.

Even on “old” trains, which have

windows through which thieves can reach passengers

, private security guards traveling in the carriages warn to “put your phones away”: “This station is ripe for crime.

Yesterday a cell phone was stolen, the offender saw the wasteland and fled there.

From afar we saw him run," said the woman and closed: "It's unfair.

We have to be looking to the sides always.

Live attentive”.


look also

They stole her cell phone in a wagon, they threw her on the train tracks and she was run over: she lost a leg and is fighting for her life

The other girl on the train and traced tragedies: "My case was useless, I feel anger and sadness"

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-02-04

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