MBTA Transit Police: Bike and smartphone thefts on the rise

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Smartphone theft on the MBTA increased since 2010, and transit police are warning riders to keep their devices close at hand while traveling on the trains.

According to a report released today by MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan, while there was a slight decrease in violent crimes on the T in 2011 compared to 2010, property crimes saw a 17 percent increase.

According to MBTA Transit Police, property crimes include larceny or theft, which accounted for most of the increases in 2011.

Statistics show that two-thirds of all serious crime on the MBTA involved non-violent property theft, according to T police reports.

The thefts of bicycles, catalytic converters, items inside motor vehicles and cell phones—especially smart phones—continue to be a concern for the Transit Police.  

By October of 2011, 98 Apple products had been stolen from people while waiting at T stations.
Of those products, 58 of them were iPhones.

Catalytic converter thefts, where thieves take precious metals from underneath parked cars at MBTA parking lots, continue to be a concern for police.

Bicycle theft has also seen an increase, according to reports, which T police said is attributed to the amount of customers using bikes to ride to the T.

An internal task force has been created to combat the catalytic converter thefts, according to a statement made by Transit Officials today, and they are working with local law enforcement partners who are experiencing similar types of crimes.

As for bike thefts, the T police are doing what they can to fight that problem as well.

“We continue to analyze crime data and continue to address crime issues with uniform and plainclothes patrols,” said Chief MacMillan in a statement.  “We established a task force with police in Cambridge, Arlington, and Somerville to increase public awareness relative to bicycle theft.  This task force conducted numerous outreach events on the bicycle paths through these communities.”

Tips to protect your phone:

*Don’t use phones while leaving the station.
    
*Don’t lose track of your surroundings.
    
*Do write down serial number, color and make, and register the device.
    
*Don’t lend your device to strangers.


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