Friday, September 19, 2014

REMINDER: Electronic device anti-theft safety tips

From 01/01/2014 through 09/18/2014 there have been 64 robberies on the MBTA where electronic devices were specifically targeted, most notably smartphones.  Our detectives have worked tirelessly and have identified and/or arrested the majority of the offenders responsible.
(NOTE: For perspective purposes:during this same time period last year there were 104 electronic device robberies that had occurred on the MBTA, that is a 38% decrease).

Today Apple will officially release the latest version of the iPhone, the 6 and 6 Plus. Our experience has taught us after the release of the latest model of smartphones there is an uptick in electronic device thefts that occur on the MBTA. 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. The new operating systems for Apple iPhones, iOS 8, have what is refered to as a "Kill switch". This is a major advancement in the prevention of Apple iPhone thefts. (go here for more information )
For additional tips on how 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 guardthemselves from being victimized". tpdnews
media inquiries should be directed to rsullivan@mbta.com

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