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Thefts on the rise, Metro warns

Metro has launched an advertising campaign to warn rail and bus riders of the growing threat of theft of portable electronic devices.

The increasing use of expensive devices such as iPads and Kindles, as well as MP3 players and cellphones, has spurred a rash of robberies by thieves who grab the devices from people sitting or standing near train doors just as the doors open, and then get away just as the doors close, according to Metro Transit Police.

The number of robberies taking place in the Metro system has surged from about 350 in 2005 to almost 900 last year. There were more than 200 robberies in the first two months of the year, indicating the rise is continuing, Metro said.

In a statement, Metro Transit Police Deputy Chief Jeff Delinski advised riders to take several steps to avoid what he called these "crimes of opportunity": Keep electronic devices in a pocket or other place that is hard to see and reach; keep the volume of music players low to stay alert; and avoid sitting or standing near train or bus doors while using such devices.

-- Ann Scott Tyson

Have you been a victim of theft on Metro or witnessed a robbery? Tell us about it by e-mailing

By Washington Post Editors  |  April 16, 2010; 4:55 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Metro , Safety , transit  | Tags: Metro Transit, Mobile phones, iPads, metro thefts increasing, police say Metro thefts on the rise, thieves targeting electronic devices  
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