At a time when trains are being derailed in mass casualty incidents, conductor cabins damaged by unknown objects and safety technologies waiting to be installed on 140,000 miles of rail lines across the country, you would think that subway security would be a high priority in a terrorist target like New York City – and you would be wrong.
A new viral video emerged this past week showing a group of subway vandals sneaking onto a stored subway train and taking control of it.
In a video posted to YouTube, members of the group Subway Conquestors are shown sneaking onto a darkened train at an unknown location and begin manipulating the subway doors. D.J. Hammers, who uploaded the video, alleged that the vandals used stolen subway keys to gain entry to the car.
Police told CBSNewYork news that the suspects involved in the incident depicted on the video have been arrested but that other members of the group have been involved in other incidents since then.
Police believe the Subway Conquestors are responsible for an explosion in the Bronx and have been linked to a second 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.
Max Diamond, a train and rail hobbyist who has tracked the Subway Conquestors for the last two years, said the vandalism is getting more extreme as group members try to outdo each other. Recent acts of vandalism include changing destination signs to confuse passengers, surfing train cars and stealing Metropolitan Transportation Authority equipment and gear. Diamond said:
“It’s extremely dangerous. The tools and keys they have given 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…”
Right now, Police are largely reliant on catching offenders in the act of interfering with subway trains and tracks but believe as members are nabbed, interrogations will lead to more arrests and, hopefully, the demise of the group.