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Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA reports decrease in motor-vehicle thefts


Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) decreased motor vehicle-related thefts last year. The department recently reported that thefts dropped 44 percent in December 2002 compared with the previous month, and 8 percent compared with the same period in 2001.

Last month, Metro Transit police issued 414 citations, compared with 219 issued in December 2001 — an increase of almost 90 percent, according to a prepared statement.

MTPD implemented several programs, which has contributed to the theft decrease. Metro employees on workers’ compensation have become part of the Parking Lot Observer Program, lending extra eyes and ears to report any suspicious activity at a parking facility.

MTPD also sponsors various crime prevention programs. The department gives away steering-wheel locking devices for vehicles, provides customers the opportunity to have a vehicle identification number etched on windshields and windows, and gives customers additional tips on keeping their vehicles safe from theft.

In mid-December, MTPD also created Rail Anti-crime Target Shift, designed to not only increase police presence throughout the rail system, but enable officers to target violations involving drinking, eating and fare evasion.

MTPD also uses elevated towers to give officers an increased line of vision of parking lot areas, as well as golf cart-like vehicles used to patrol parking lots.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/27/2003