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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Surveillance Cameras Help Nab Suspects Finding Refuge In SEPTA Stations

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By Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Caught on camera — two suspected criminals busted on SEPTA platforms in Philadelphia.

CBS 3’s Natasha Brown with an exclusive look at surveillance video.

There are thousands of cameras within the SEPTA transit system. So if you commit a crime and try to find refuge in their system, police say you might want to think again.

“He’s got the gun in his right hand so something happened back there,” Chief Thomas Nestel of SEPTA Transit Police said.

It’s 1:45 p.m. Friday afternoon.  A man with handgun is spotted running through the Walnut and Locust Street SEPTA station.  He tuck the gun away, tries to hurdle the turn style — and falls flat before continuing to run.

“The gun I think becomes visible because people are running,” Nestel said.

Passengers scurry when he runs by them along the platform brandishing the gun again.  Little does he know SEPTA police are on his trail and this nightmare comes to an end.

“Very unusual to apprehend someone with gun or for a person to be victimized by a criminal with a gun in the subway system,” Nestel said.

This is the second day in row a suspect has tried to find refuge in a SEPTA station.  We were there Thursday when police nabbed this man wanted in connection with a $20,000 cell phone theft ring.  He led police on a chase through the 13th and Market Street station.

“What he’s trying to do is be as discreet as possible, and he’s looking both ways to see if the police are already on the platform,” Nestel said.

When he ends up along the trolley line there’s nowhere left to run except into the hands of undercover officers.

“They really have no idea how many officers we have undercover, and by undercover, I mean looking like they’re undercover. Some of these guys could fit in anywhere.  And they do a really good job,” Nestel said.

With 12,000 cameras located throughout the SEPTA system, there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.  And officials say that’s exactly the point.

“If you commit a crime in SEPTA, you’re going to get arrested. Guaranteed,” Nestel said.

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