Friday, February 7, 2014

Electronic Device Robbery Advisory- MBTA

Electronic Device Advisory
From 01/01/2014 through 02/06/2014 there have been 25 robberies on the MBTA where electronic devices were specifically targeted, most notably smartphones.  Fifteen (15) of the 25 have occurred on the Red Line. Our detectives have worked tirelessly and have identified and/or arrested the majority of the offenders responsible.
(NOTE: During this same time period last year there were 23 electronic device robberies that had occurred on the MBTA).

Unfortunately, thefts of smart phones/electronic devices (most notably Apple products) is a nationwide trend. This trend often referred to as "Apple Picking" is for the most part a crime of opportunity. However there are things you can do to minimize the chances of being victimized while traveling on the T.

  • If possible avoid using your phone while on the MBTA except in cases of emergency/reporting via SeeSay or 911
  • Conceal expensive electronic equipment
  • Change the color of the ear buds, would be thieves look for the distinctive white ear plugs of Apple
  • Refrain from listening to music or wearing headphones while riding the system
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times especially if you are using your electronic device
  • Be aware that most robberies of electronic devices occur near the train doors JUST as it enters the station.
  • Be alert for staged distractions
In the unfortunate event you are a victim DO NOT resist, things can be replaced. Try to stay calm, hand over your device and attempt to observe the physical characteristics of the perpetrator so you can describe him/her later. Contact the Transit Police as soon as possible (immediately if practicable) after the event and report the incident. Our detectives will work diligently to get your property back and apprehend the offender. Also, if you have not done so already please passcode protect your iPhone, enable Find My iPhone and lastly download a Remote Data Wipe for iPhone. For more information or tips to protect yourself call the Transit Police Special Crimes Unit at 617-222-1170.

Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan stated " public awareness campaigns are an invaluable tool in our goal to reduce thefts of iPhones and other electronic devices on the MBTA. Enforcement alone will not work, we need to remind our MBTA community they can take definitive steps to guard themselves from being victimized". 

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