The Jackson Square MBTA station. (Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — State and Boston Police are beefing up their presence in Jackson Square and around the Southwest Corridor in Jamaica Plain after reports that about a dozen young people have been assaulting and robbing people in the area.
The juveniles, ranging from elementary age to teens, seem to be targeting pedestrians and bike riders, stealing their cell phones and other electronics.
The police response comes in response to some commuters and residents calling for more patrols on social media.
Boston Police said one member of the group was arrested Wednesday night for allegedly punching a man walking toward the Jackson Square MBTA Orange Line station.
"Officers observed a group of 8 males—known to officers from an ongoing investigation, surround 3 male victims in the area of the Jackson Square MBTA station," Boston Police wrote on their blog. "The 3 victims attempted to walk toward the station but were blocked by the large group."
After police said they witnessed several of the group assault one of the victims, they chased down and detained all eight of them, charging one with assault and battery and releasing the rest to their parents or guardians.
One area resident named Brian told WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe he witnessed a robbery recently while waiting for his bus.
"There were two kids on bikes that literally just zipped by and grabbed a female's purse and phone as she was holding it," he said.
Another woman said she takes extra precautions when she's walking to and from the station.
"That's why I keep my phone inside my pocket, and I close it, because I don't want anyone to steal it," she said.
But one teen girl said she didn't think a larger police presence would make a difference.
"Most kids now, they don't care," she said.
Police are urging pedestrians who walk or ride their bikes in the area not to openly display phones or other electronics.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports