Sunday, November 27, 2011

Traveler's Alert: Be Cautious When Riding Boston's T

Personal crime on Boston's "T," comprised of four subway lines; the Green Line, the Blue Line, the Orange Line and the Red Line has increased nearly 16% this year, particularly from pickpockets, smart-phone snatchers and bike thieves. Hence, visitors to Boston, particularly foreign guests, should be observant, cautious

Transit police responsible for "T" security attribute the double-digit rise in crime — 1,004 incidents so far this year compared to 868 in the same period last year — on increasing ridership, a sluggish economy and the high price of precious metals that drives criminals to steal from passengers, regardless of where they are from.

It marks the second straight year that crimes on the T have risen after a record low in 2009, when transit police reported 827 Part 1 crimes, the fewest in three decades. So far this year, aggravated assaults, bike theft, pick-pocketings and larcenies have already exceeded totals for all of last year.

"T" police officials also attribute most of the 7% rise in robberies to the theft of expensive iPhones and Androids, a trend that’s likely to increase as the MBTA expands cell phone coverage throughout its subway system.

COMMENT: While the "T" police conceptualize new approaches to preventing bike theft and other larcenies, would-be victims are urged to use hands-free devices so that expensive phones can be concealed under their clothing, avoid wearing expensive jewelry, keep tote bags and purses closed and for men, keep wallets in front trouser pockets. Another useful technique is to discreetly observe others who may be sizing a victim up and moving away from such persons or stepping away from areas close to where subway doors open, thereby reducing the risk of a speedy escape. Insurance coverage for high-value electronics is also suggested. See

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