September 20, 2012
Aboard Metro buses and trains thieves are snatching smart phones at a growing rate and Metro officials and Los Angeles County Sheriffs want it stopped. But they need the public’s help in putting an end to these crimes of opportunity. Raising awareness is the first step.
“It’s a national trend. And we need to educate the public about how they can avoid being victims of this kind of crime,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Commander Patrick Jordan.
In L.A., as well as in New York, Washington D.C., Boston and Chicago, thieves are stealing cell phones out of the hands of inattentive transit riders. Metro experienced a 47 percent increase in cell phone thefts during the first half of this year, compared with the first half of last year.
In looking at phone thefts by month, they began to increase steadily in March of this year, with a low of 15 in February and a high of 34 in July. There have been 168 phone theft reports taken since the first of the year. The result has been 84 arrests.
And yet, the Metro system is safe and overall crime on Metro is stable. For every 100 million boardings in the first half of 2011, Metro had 250 crimes — the same number as for the first half of this year.