Metro Transit Cracks Down on Cell Phone Theft

Updated: 09/21/2013 8:15 AM By: Joy Lim Nakrin

Metro Transit is cracking down on a growing crime: cell phone snatching.

Both Minneapolis police and Metro Transit police report a steady rise in the crime over recent years. In 2012, Metro Transit got 16 police reports of cell phone theft per month. In 2013, that number has jumped to 27 phone thefts per month.

Metro Transit's John Siqveland says, "Here in the Twin Cities we've seen a steady increase over the last few years and right now it's about a cell phone theft just about everyday."

It's why transit officials launched a campaign to warn riders on buses, trains and platforms including audible announcements, signs and scrolling messages.

Siqveland warns of when the thefts typically happen saying, "normally someone will be there with the phone near the back door of a bus that's coming to a stop, or a train that's coming to a stop, or their standing on a platform looking at their phone maybe not as aware of their surroundings"

Metro Transit officials also say their surveillance system on trains, buses and platforms has helped them catch 25% of cell phone thieves.