Metro Report Shows Spike in Crime

Dorothy Rowley | 2/25/2011, 1:24 p.m.

A security report released this week by Metro reveals a crime surge - with circumstances involving two rapes and a homicide having previously been kept under wraps.

The report, which lists 2,279 crimes that occurred in 2010, also divulges the 10 most dangerous rail stations.

Officials noted in the report that all totaled, seven rapes and sexual assaults occurred last year on the system. In addition, a significant number of occurrences surrounded the investigation of 1,007 robberies - which included the theft of smart phones and other electronic devices.

Overall, the crimes accounted for a spike in incidences that was 79 percent higher than the system reported six years ago.

Metro officials did not return the Washington Informer's request for comment. But according to Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells who sits on the board, it more or less boils down to a judgment call whether the system reports certain crimes.

"My understanding is that the homicide that occurred [last May on the transit system's property at the Congress Heights stop] was when someone was getting ready to board the bus," Wells said. "I haven't talked at length to Metro about whether to count that [incident, as] the fellow was shot from behind getting on." Wells added that as a result, there has been uncertainly whether the shooting actually happened on Metro system.

He also said that while he lacked information on the two rapes, he has no reason to believe Metro officials have not been forthcoming. While he alluded to the matter as a judgment call, Wells expressed concern about how police officers are deployed.

"Everybody on the Metro comes from all over and we should be sure that we're keeping people safe when they ride the system," he said, adding that he grapples with the issue of officers being removed from trains and placed at stations for bag searches.

"I'm not second-guessing the judgment of the Metro chief," Wells said. "But I am concerned that a bag search site takes at least four officers. I want to make sure that deploying them is done in the smartest way that keeps everyone safe."

Meanwhile, the most dangerous stations -- listed according to their rankings - have been indentified as: New Carrollton; Branch Ave.; Greenbelt; Prince George's Plaza; Gallery Place; Metro Center; L'Enfant Plaza; Southern Ave.; Largo Town Center; and Minnesota Ave.