A recent report by Muni revealed that while crime is down in general on public transit, theft -- mainly theft of those pretty smartphones and tablets -- is on the rise. (Just how much did you pay for that iPad 2?)
"To thieves, each of these devices is a target, not only on city streets, but also on public transit," said SFMTA Director of Transportation Edward D. Reiskin in a statement. And since an iPhone can fetch hundreds through private sale, it's no surprise.
However, according to Reiskin and the San Francisco Police Department, theft on Muni is usually a product of opportunity.
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"Theft-related crimes are largely preventable," said SFPD Chief Greg Suhr in a statement. "They are preventable through education and awareness."
Thus, Muni and the SFPD have launched a joint public service campaign to combat theft on public transportation. The campaign features sinister-looking posters showing a typical, clueless, headphoned Muni rider mere moments before being robbed. The text features warnings, including "thieves know an opportunity when they see it" and "be smart with your smartphone."
"These campaign posters are a reminder to all of us," said Suhr. "The Police Department applauds the SFMTA for being pro-active in helping to reduce these types of theft. Public safety is a collaborative effort that we must all join in together and be responsible for."
As part of the campaign, Muni and SFPD also released a set of guidelines to follow while riding public transportation:
1. Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
2. Don't allow your attention to become distracted from your property.
3. If you are using an iPhone, don't use the standard issue white headphones as these are identified with the devices.
4. Use the security features, such as a security code log-in, to protect your information from identity theft.
5. If you are a victim of a crime, do not resist. Take mental notes of the suspect's description and report the incident to the police of Muni personal immediately.
6. If you see a theft in progress, please call 911.
Check out Muni's new posters, as well as a KRON video showing just how clueless Muni riders can be, in the slideshow below: