Serious crime on Metro’s bus and rail systems dropped to a five-year low during the first half of 2014, Metro Police announced today.

The decrease in crime was particularly significant in three areas:

  • Snatching of mobile devices: down 49 percent
  • Bicycle theft: down 35 percent
  • Robberies: down 43 percent

In the last five years overall, the number of criminal incidents on Metro dropped from 1,105 in 2010 to 708 in 2014.

An August Metro crime report, however, shows that not all crime reduced on Metro. There were 68 aggravated assaults on Metro between January and August, compared to 67 last year. Motor vehicle thefts were also up: 37 in the first eight months of last year, compared to 42 this year. There was one rape in the first eight months of last year, compared to two this year.

In a press release, Metro police say the department’s efforts led to this steep reduction in theft. Last year, Metro released a series of videos to increase awareness of cell phone snatch thefts and provided tips to riders on how they could avoid such incidents. Seeking to reduce bike thefts, Metro police created an online registration program and gave out more than 500 free U-locks to riders who were using chain or cable locks. Police also used plainclothes officers and high-definition cameras to monitor bike racks for theft, which ultimately resulted in ten arrests this summer.

“We are pleased that our efforts are yielding positive results,” Metro Transit Police Chief Ronald Pavlik says in a statement. “While I recognize that one crime is one too many, today’s news is an opportunity to thank our officers for their hard work, as well as our customers for their awareness and vigilance.”

Photo by Perry Stein