Crime increased on Washington’s Metro transit system increased by 12 percent last year, fueled by surging numbers of aggravated assaults and robberies by thieves who snatch smartphones, MP3 players and other electronic devices from rail passengers and flee, the city’s Post reported. The bus and rail system serving Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia reported 2,279 serious crimes in 2010. That marks a five-year high from 2006, when 1,440 incidences were reported.
From 2009 to 2010, the number of rapes and sexual offenses grew from one to seven; four of the sexual offenses allegedly involved assaults on disabled customers by MetroAccess drivers. The largest single increase was in aggravated assaults, from 94 to 136. Metro officials said a third of those altercations involved its own bus drivers, some of whom had confrontations with passengers who refused to pay fares.