NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A rogue group of subway vandals calling them the ‘Subway Conquestors’ is allegedly on a mission to attack the rail system.
As CBS2’s Weijia Jiang reported, they can be seen in video footage sneaking into deserted stations at Canal and Bergen streets, and an underground construction zone at Ninth Avenue.
Police sources believe they were responsible for an explosion in the Bronx, and have been linked to one at Brooklyn’s Nostrand Avenue station in April.
In the Nostrand Avenue incident, police arrested Keyshawn Brown, 16, and accused him of placing a piece of metal on the tracks.
“There are plenty of other people out there in the same gang, engaging in the same activities,” Max Diamond explained.
Diamond is a self-proclaimed rail enthusiast. He has tracked the group for two years on social media.
He said the acts are getting more extreme as the vandals try to one up each other. They have been accused of changing destination signs to confuse passengers, surfing train cars, and stealing MTA equipment and gear.
“It’s extremely dangerous. The tools and keys they have give them full control over subway trains just like any other employee of the MTA — which is incredibly scary, because this is 16, 17-year-old kids,” he said.
Straphangers wonder how far they will go.
“I worry, every time I get on, is it safe? Am I going to be on time? Are my kids safe?” Claudia Rodriguez said.
“It’s all exciting and fun until someone gets killed,” said William Henderson, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The MTA has urged anyone who witnesses wrongdoing to come forward. That is how they got a copy of the most recent surveillance video, they are working with the NYPD to arrest the teenagers in it.