Police recorded 40 electronic device thefts in the two-week period ending Aug. 7, or a 48 percent increase over the previous two-week period.
Police Chief Ron Pavlik says most of the thefts occur on Metro's rail system and take place quickly while the victim isn't paying attention.
He said at a news conference Thursday that passengers should keep their devices out of sight, or at least hold their phones with both hands and be aware of their surroundings while using them.
He said police have had success in recovering some of the stolen devices, but that riders need to do their part as well.
CCTV footage of theft on July 31 at Capitol Heights Station:
CCTV footage of theft on Metrobus
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