BOSTON (CBS) – The MBTA is planning to step up public awareness campaigns and possibly even police presence in the wake of new crime stats.

The ‘T’ crunched the numbers from the beginning of the year through this week, and
while indecent assaults and vandalism have dropped this year, the MBTA has seen a 16 percent spike in robbery and theft cases from last year.

Joseph O’Connor, Deputy Chief of the MBTA Transit Police Dept. says in particular, thieves are targeting electronic devices like smart phones.

“We’re finding that people are leaving items down and walking away from them, they’re getting stolen,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mary Blake.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mary Blake reports

Bike thefts are also on the rise, up 29 percent from last year.

“People don’t use proper locks. They’re using cheap locks, thin cables,” Dept. Chief O’Connor said.

The MBTA is building more bike cages and putting in more surveillance cameras.

With the MBTA moving about 1.3 million riders a day, O’Connor attributes the higher crime numbers, in part, to increased ridership.

“When you look at the numbers, they’re relatively low for someone becoming a victim of crime on the MBTA,” he said.


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