News & Politics

Metro Reports Big Drop in Crime in Early Months of 2014

Thefts of electronic devices and bikes are way down, but no change in the number of sexual harassment reports.

Photograph by Flickr user Cliff.

Metro reports that certain types of crime, particularly thefts of electronic devices and bicycles, dropped considerably over the first three months of 2014 when compared with the same period last year. Robberies of mobile phones and other devices are down 42 percent, and bike thefts dropped by 56 percent, according to a quarterly crime report presented to Metro’s board of directors Thursday morning.

Transit police reported 79 robberies of phones, tablets, and computers between January and March, down from 137 a year earlier, a drop that Metro officials credit to “increased customer awareness” and more police activity. Violent and armed robberies are also down from 121 in the first three months of 2013 to 55 this year.

Metro is applauding its own increased policing efforts as one of the principal reasons crime is down, but there’s another possible explanation. The first three months of 2014 brought the heaviest winter weather Washington has experienced since 2010, with multiple snow days for government workers dragging down ridership numbers.

But one area where Metro has made no statistical progress is reports of sexual harassment. The ten instances of sexual harassment reported by people using the transit agency’s online reporting tool in the first quarter of 2014 matches the first quarter of 2013.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.