A string of MTA train crimes were reported in the Bronx in recent weeks as the borough’s subway crime stats encountered a bump.
There were several assaults on Bronx trains in recent weeks, with two incidents occurring on one day.
On Monday, March 27 at 3:35 p.m. two men grabbed a smart phone from a 10-year-old boy in the Gun Hill Road subway station and began walking out of the station.
The victim followed the thieves but was told to stop because they had a gun, according to police.
A second incident occurred around 9:30 p.m. at the E. 183rd Street station when three men approached a 37-year-old man, with one of them punching the man in the face, knocking him to the ground, before the other two stole the man’s wallet and fled.
On Wednesday, March 15, a 58-year-old man was stabbed multiple times while riding the southbound IRT 6 train.
The victim was taken to Jacobi Medical Center to be treated for non-life threatening injuries, while the assailant fled the scene.
In a joint April 3 press conference held by the NYPD and the mayor, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Dermot Shea said there had been a large spike in crimes committed in the transit system in January, which then dissipated.
“That number came down in February but if you look at the March transit reported index crime it was nearly flat, it was plus four incidents,” Shea said.
According to statistics obtained from the office of the NYPD Deputy Commissioner Public Information, serious transit crimes citywide dropped from 658 reported through April 9 in 2016 down to 638 for the same period this year.
Of the six main felony categories: murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary and grand larceny, only robbery saw a jump while other numbers dropped.
There were 100 robberies reported through April 9 in 2016 and 140 reported so far this year.
In the Bronx, crimes in those six categories are altogether up from 101 in 2016 to 122 in 2017, according to the NYPD.
While robbery is down from 35 to 26, assault is up from 10 to 18. Grand larceny is also up sharply, from 56 to 77.
Councilman James Vacca said the city needs to get more NYPD transit officers on the trains and in subway stations, and said the city had to address the homeless or mentally ill individuals who needed help.
“I go down to City Hall three days a week and there is not a day that goes by that there is not someone demanding money or harassing passengers or someone you know needs assistance and is not getting it, and sometimes these individuals act out,” he said. “And (transit) police on the train are few and far between.”
“I don’t see the type of strategy needed – it’s patchwork, not proactive at all,” he said.
Vacca said he supported more security cameras on subways, but didn’t see them as a solution.
“I’m all for (the cameras), but they are only good after the act occurs,” he said.