Metro riders may want to pocket their cellphones and electronic devices.
Thefts of cellphones and other small, electronic devices are on the rise, according to a security report from the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority.
The report noted that thefts of those items are rising throughout the region as a whole, not just on transit.
"The action is easy, the device is easy to conceal, the payoff is lucrative, arrest and prosecution is difficult and victims are everywhere," the WMTA board wrote.
There were 37 percent more devices snatched in the first eight months of 2013 than in that same time frame in 2012. Police recorded 450 snatch thefts between January and August.
All crimes on the Metro increased nearly 10 percent in that time, and stolen cellphones and bicycles made up the majority, 59 percent, of serious crimes there.
Crimes in Metro parking lots, however, declined 35 percent.
Bike thefts increased 50 percent to 303 this year. Transit police worked to reduce the number of stolen bikes this summer by distributing crime prevention literature, bike locks and introducing a Metro bicycle registration program.
Metro riders reported 71 cases of sexual harassment, but just 10 of those cases were actively investigated by transit police.
In the remainder of cases, the victim did not want to pursue a formal report, chose to remain anonymous or no crime was committed.
The report states that the crime rate on the Metro system is lower than the regional rate.
Frederick commuters using MTA's commuter buses to Shady Grove might be relieved to hear the station was not one of the stops with a high crime rate.
Brookland, Deanwood and Minnesota Avenue were the top three with more than 40 crimes reported in the recording period.
Capitol Heights, West Hyattsville and College Park were the stops in Maryland with the most crimes. Police reported 33, 28 and 25 crimes, respectively, at each station.
Free rides on TransIT
Frederick's local transit system will be free Oct. 25 to celebrate TransIT's 20th anniversary. All connectors and shuttles will be free for the day.
Follow Kelsi Loos on Twitter: @KelsiFNP.
Correction: Oct. 14, 2013
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified MTA commuter buses as TransIT buses.
Copyright 2013 - The Frederick News-Post, Md.