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Cable car conductor accused of pocketing fares

A San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency employee was arrested Wednesday in connection the alleged theft of fares, police said.

Cable car conductor Albert Williams, 61, of Napa County, was arrested on suspicion of felony misappropriation of public money and embezzlement, according to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

He’s being held at the county jail on $50,000 bail, according to jail records.

Officers with the San Francisco Police Department’s Muni Task Force began an investigation about two months ago after Muni officials reported the theft. During the investigation, officers identified Williams as a suspect, police said.

As a cable car conductor, Williams was responsible accepting cash fares, issuing receipts and turning in the collected fares at the end of each of shift.

The investigation revealed that Williams was allegedly stealing cash he collected from cable car riders and then using various methods to conceal the true amount of cash collected, allowing him to keep hundreds of dollars in cash monthly, according to the district attorney’s office.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said in a statement:

“The suspect’s conduct represents a violation of public trust. … Our investigators moved quickly to gather evidence and build an extensive case to present to the District Attorney’s Office.”

SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said in a statement:

“As soon as we learned of improper activity, we referred the matter to our law enforcement partners, were able to identify a bad actor, and are moving now to ensure he no longer represents this agency and city on our iconic cable cars. … Going forward we will immediately enhance management and oversight of our cash fare transactions and will explore long-term options such as eventually removing cash as an on-board payment option for our cable car system.”

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