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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Metro robberies jump 50 percent in 2009

Robberies on Metrorail increased 50 percent during 2009, according to data from Metro Transit Police.

Between January and November 2009, a total of 805 robberies were recorded, while during the same period in 2008, there were only 538 robberies. Overall crime in 2009 increased from 1,686 cases to 1,867 cases during that time period, according to transit police data provided on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority’s Web site.

The increase in robberies has been steady since just more than 300 were reported in 2004. By 2007, there were 445 robberies total, according to a five-year crime report from Metro Transit Police.

Transit police offer tips on Metro’s Web site to help passengers prevent crime. Specific tips are offered on how to protect electronic devices like iPods and cell phones.

Some suggestions are simple, like carrying property in a pocket or somewhere it is not easily seen by others. Changing the color of your device’s earpiece is another recommendation, “so that it does not readily suggest you carry an expensive electronic device.”

Metro Transit Police also recommend that passengers avoid sitting or standing near the doors of train cars or Metrobuses, and riders are advised to “be smart about when and where you use your electronic device.”

Since last spring, undercover Metro police have been used as decoys to catch thieves snatching iPods and other devices from riders. Last October, transit police also used decoys wearing North Face coats due to an increase in coat robberies.

While a number of cell phone snatches have been reported near the Foggy Bottom Metro station, transit police data show that most crimes occur on Metro trains or in Metro parking lots.

Some of the most crime-ridden Metro station parking lots include Capitol Heights, Southern Avenue, College Park, Suitland, New Carrollton, and Largo Town Center, according to a Washington Examiner report.

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