The Washington Post

Metro Transit Police deploy decoys to catch alleged thieves

It looked like a bike ready to be stolen. But unknown to the teenager who tried to take it from outside Prince George’s Plaza station Tuesday night it belonged to Metro Transit Police.


Undercover detectives have been working for the past month using iPhones, other electronic devices and bikes as decoys on the transit system, according to Metro’s chief spokesman Dan Stessel. When a thief tries to steal the item, police have made an arrest.

According to the release “dozens of arrests” have been made.

“We are employing new tactics to combat bike theft and theft of electronic devices, such as iPads and iPhones. The teams are doing a great job in addressing crime and keeping our customers safe,” Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn said in the release.

Earlier this year, there was an uptick in reported snatchings of iPhones and electronic devices. Transit Police along with local and federal law enforcement arrested three men in August and accused them of trafficking in smartphones stolen on the Metro system The suspects were allegedly trying to resell the items at kiosks at Pentagon City mall.

Metro officials said overall crime on the system is down, but warned that they tend to see an increase in robberies around the holidays and riders should be aware of their surroundings.

Follow me on Twitter @postmetrogirl.

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.