MBTA Crime On Rise As Smartphones Targeted

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Crime on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is surging and transit police say it's being fueled largely by the latest generation of smartphones.

T officials say crime is up 26 percent from Jan. 1 to June 24, compared to the same time span last year, with robberies and thefts up 42 percent. Cell phone thefts are up 17 percent.

Deputy Transit Police Chief Joseph O'Connor tells the Boston Herald that smartphones are attractive to thieves because their SIM cards, the memory chips that store carrier and subscriber information, can easily be replaced. The phones can then be sold at pawn shops or on the black market.

MBTA police are handing out cards warning riders to keep their phones hidden and secure when on buses and trains.

This program aired on June 28, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.