NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- NYPD's new crime statistics show an alarming jump in violence in New York City's subway system, and robberies are fueling that trend.
New Yorkers are returning to the city transit system. Now, more than three million people ride the subways every day. Double what it was last year when the pandemic drove ridership to historic lows.
But with the increase in riders there is an increase in crime. While overall crime in the system is down for the year, over the past few weeks, it's surging.
At an MTA committee meeting on Monday, NYPD inspector Raymond Porteus said much of the increase is being fueled by thefts. Many of the victims were sleeping or otherwise distracted.
"68 additional incidents within the same month last year. Most of them were larcenies. Most of these recent crimes resulted in an arrest at or near the scene," he said.
Also fueling the increase? Robberies and muggings, which were up some 18% last month. MTA Board Member Andrew Albert.
"I think those have been crimes of opportunity. I don't feel at all scared when I ride. I would tell everybody the same thing, know who's around you when you ride," MTA Board Member Andrew Albert said.
One month does not make a trend, and MTA officials say the number of arrests is up dramatically. Which means the police presence is having an impact.
"The more people who ride, the more people are there to be victimized and so don't be a victim to the extent that you can pay attention to where you going, make sure that your eyes have not buried in your phone and look around you. Be aware of your surroundings," said Lisa Daglian of the MTA Permanent Citizens' Advisory Committee.
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