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MBTA data: Reported crimes quadrupled at Andrew Station last year

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  February 4, 2011 11:49 AM

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The number of reported serious crimes quadrupled in 2010 at Andrew Station, the most dramatic increase among all MBTA stations, according to recently released data from the transit agency.

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The MBTA has compiled its 2010 tally of serious crimes, including arson, assault, homicide, rape and various forms of theft. Overall, reported crime on the MBTA rose 19 percent last year to 986. Search a breakdown of crime by line and station. Our search does not include data on bus routes.

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Five crimes, all thefts, were reported in 2009 at Andrew. Last year, there were 22 serious crimes, including 14 robberies, which were up more than four-fold from two years ago. The Red Line station located in South Boston also reported two assaults for 2010, compared to none the previous year.

Mattapan saw the second-most dramatic change from 2009: serious crimes dropped from 15 to 4 reports. After Mattapan, Fields Corner saw the second-largest crime decrease -- from 15 to 7 reports.

The Wonderland stop on the Blue Line was second to Andrew in serious crime increases, as overall reports rose from 9 to 29. Changes at stations with fewer than 10 reported crimes during both years were excluded from the data for this story.

Andrew, which also serves seven bus routes, reported the eighth-highest serious crime total among T stops during 2010, as it tied with the 22 at both Park Street and Ruggles. South Station was tops in serious crime.

Overall, reported serious, or "Part I," crimes on the T rose 19 percent last year to 987. Still, that number was the fourth-lowest in the past three decades. Only 2006, 2008 and 2009, the lowest total on record since the the data collecting began in 1980, saw fewer serious crimes reported.

Part I crimes are those deemed most serious, consisting of arson, assault, homicide, rape and various forms of theft. A online database, searchable by station, of that crime type can be found here. Part II crimes consist of fare evasion, simple assault, vandalism, loitering, drug and alcohol violations, disorderly conduct, trespassing and others. That less-serious crime type saw a 5 percent increase last year to 5,218 reports.

“Over the last five years, we’ve averaged 942 serious crimes per year, and we have seen a little uptick in 2010 from that number,” MacMillan said. “But when you put that in perspective to the number of passengers we have per day, which is 1.3 million, the number of incidences occurring based on the number of passengers is very low.”

Nonetheless, he said one crime is too many. “We continue to work to drive all these numbers down.”

Various forms of theft – burglaries, larcenies and robberies – rose this past year.

Larcenies increased system-wide by 11 percent from two years ago to 581 in 2010. Robberies jumped 24 percent to 233 and burglaries were up from eight in 2009 ago to 13 last year.

Burglary is breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony, often to steal something. Larceny is stealing that involves no force or violence, and robbery is stealing that involves force.

After highlighting a rise in GPS thefts in the past, transit law enforcement officials say have noticed an increase in cell phone thefts as more commuters carry more expensive cellular devices. Officials have been running awareness campaigns to reduce such occurrences.

“This is a problem not only for us but many agencies,” MacMillan said of mobile phone thefts. “These are a very popular item … People have their cell phones out; it can be easily stolen; it can be grabbed from the hands when the doors open. Or they’re not paying attention because they’ve got their headphones in, and it can be easily stolen that way.”

Forest Hills Station saw the most reported assaults. Downtown Crossing saw the most robberies.

Across all stops, assaults rose 39 percent to 124; auto thefts rose from 17 to 32. There was one homicide last year compared to none the year before and three rapes compared to two in 2009. There were no arsons reported in 2010 compared to one two years ago.

In the same order as 2009, the Red Line led its subway counterparts in total serious crime with 261 reports, followed by Orange with 202, Green with 72 and Blue with 54. Except for the Red, all lines saw crime increase, including the commuter rail, which reported the largest increase, up 65 percent to 238. Buses, transit yards and surface activity accounted for 157 serious crimes, a 19 percent climb.

The T is working on eventually rolling out an updated online interface on mbta.com that allows for a more user-friendly experience than the current one for commuters who want to research crime data on a station-by-station level, MacMillan said.

“We want to have a mechanism that can easily allow people to find out what’s happening at their local stops,” he said.

E-mail Sara Brown at yourtownsara@gmail.com; Jeremy C. Fox at jeremycfox@gmail.com; Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.

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