Lauren Hickey was on her way to babysit in Chevy Chase when she left her wallet and keys on an N4 bus. The freshman in the School of Public Affairs called the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority warehouse several times before they were able to locate her lost items. When she picked up her wallet, her ID, credit card, debit card and license were all still there. However, her cash and SmarTrip had been stolen. Now, when she leaves the bus she checks the seat.
In 2009, there were 894 reported robberies on Metrorail and bus, up from 581 in 2008, a 53 percent jump, according to according to a Metro Transit Police Department press release.
AU students are among the customers of WMATA who were victims of increased robberies on the Metro.
Tenleytown is listed as a top-10 Metrorail station in D.C. for occurrences of aggravated assault, burglary, homicide, larceny, motor vehicle theft, rape and robbery in WMATA’s Security and Safety report released March 11.
However, while Tenleytown was one of the top Metrorail stations to experience crime in D.C., it was not on the top-10 list for all Metrorail stations in the WMATA system, which includes stops in Maryland and Virginia.
Metro Center suffered the most total crime of all stations, including 10 robberies in January.
The news release stated that most of theft involves electronic devices such as cell phones and iPods.
Thefts are spread throughout the Metrorail system and are not at one particular location, according to Cathy Asato of WMATA Media Relations.
Over Thanksgiving break, Jen Chai’s friend from Boston University had her camera stolen. On their way back from Pentagon City at the Chinatown-Gallery Place stop, someone pretended to trip and crashed into her, stealing a camera from her coat pocket, said Chai, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Several suggestions to prevent such crimes from the WMATA Web site include: carrying electronic devices in a pocket or place where they cannot easily be reached, keeping the volume level moderately low on music players and avoiding sitting or standing near doors when using these devices.
Police have already seen approximately 200 cases of theft in the first two months of this year, according to WUSA9.com. Both victims and suspects are generally young — ranging from teens to 24-year-olds.
However, Asato said age doesn’t matter; thieves are looking for easy targets.
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