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S.F. Muni, police launch anti-theft campaign

Posted on March 13, 2012

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees the Municipal Railway (Muni), and the San Francisco Police Department launched a new public service campaign to remind Muni customers that stations and vehicles are an extension of city streets and require the same level of vigilance.

Crimes on Muni are often crimes of opportunity. Customers can help deprive thieves of such opportunities by staying alert and aware of their surroundings.

“While overall crime on Muni is down 30 percent in January as compared to last January, larceny, including thefts of smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices, is up,” said Edward D. Reiskin, SFMTA director of transportation. “To thieves each of these devices is a target, not only on city streets, but also on public transit. We want our customers to stay safe and alert.”

In January SFPD tracked 30 larceny incidents on Muni citywide. The broader category of larceny includes thefts of mobile phones and other electronic devices. This is an increase of five incidents from January 2011 to January 2012. A 30% overall decrease in crime on Muni (108 to 75) from January to January shows decreases in every category besides larceny.

Recent targeting of smart phones and other high-end electronic devices by thieves are the focus of the public service ads. Two different versions show customers using an iPhone and an iPad and use the tag lines, “Be smart with your smart phone” and “Thieves know an opportunity when they see it,” respectively.

More than 2,000 of the ads are in place on Muni buses and light rail trains. Each of the nine Muni Metro stations also has one of the ads in place and a coordinated message will continue to play on Muni’s subway platform displays.

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