WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Police are urging Metro users to take caution as there has been an increase in electronic device thefts.
See the video below as a suspect snatches an electronic device from a person sitting on the train:
There have been 40 reported incidents of various kinds of electronics being stolen, including iPhones, iPads, Kindles and Android phones. All these incidents occurred during a two-week period in August. Most of these occur closer to train doors, police said.
In a press conference, Chief Pavlik said, "These are crimes of opportunity, and they are preventable. The best advice is to keep your device out of sight, but if you do choose to use it, maintain constant awareness of what's happening around you."
Top 10 Stations for Snatch Thefts:
- Benning Road
- Gallery Place
- L'Enfant Plaza
- Georgia Ave
- Congress Heights
- For Totten
- Rhode Island Avenue
- U Street
A crime trend analysis tool called MetroStat is used by MTPD to see what crime trends are taking place every 14 days. Metro also says they use "crime suppression" where undercover officers in various trains help to prevent thefts, officials said.
During the press conference, the Police was stern in their message to the people committing these crimes.
"Criminals should know that if you're on Metro, chances are we've got you on camera," said Pavlik.
Metro's website also lists some tips and theft incident details:
Snatch Theft Facts
Tips to Prevent Theft Snatch
- More than two thirds of snatch theft victims are women. Most suspects are male (95 percent), and 82 percent of the suspects are believed to young adults between the ages of 14 and 20.
- Nearly 60 percent of all snatches involve Apple iPhone devices.
- Snatch thefts can occur at any time - on a platform, outside the station, or even in the middle of a rail car. However, roughly 87 percent of all snatch thefts occur within the Metrorail system. Snatches on Metrobus account for about 13 percent of the total.
- Handle your device as if it were cash. The best advice is to keep your valuables out of sight.
- If you choose to use a device, always remain alert and aware of your surroundings and hold the device using both hands to make it harder to grab.
- Avoid using an electronic device near the train or bus doors. Many "snatch thefts" take place as the doors are closing. Also, do not use an electronic device on escalators.
- Change the color of your earphones. White or red wires can indicate that you're carrying expensive equipment.