Metro officials beef up train security following 'Apple Picking' crime trend -

Metro officials beef up train security following 'Apple Picking' crime trend

 (KMOV) – Local residents may never see it coming; it’s called “apple picking,” brazen iPhone thefts that have exploded on the MetroLink.

 Riders use their cell phones all the time during MetroLink rides and News 4 has learned a lot of riders weren’t aware of the recent pick-up of this “apple picking” crime trend.

It’s an alarming crime trend where thieves go so far as to snatch a cell phone right out of your hand. Just last week News 4 told you about Kevin Bradley, 17, who is accused of stealing a woman’s iPhone at the MetroLink station in Washington Park.

“It’s easy for them. They stand there and wait to see someone with a phone hanging out and they grab the phone and run away,” said Richard Zott, Head of Security for MetroLink.

News 4 wanted to see how many people use their phones while they’re riding the train so we hopped on board. Our camera caught a number of people either texting, talking or listening to music.

One rider says, “I’ll read menus and things like that but if I don’t feel safe I won’t bring it out.”

Zott said his officers are now going undercover looking for thieves targeting riders with iPhones.

He said, “if you’re on a train and you’re on your phone, it’s probably not a good idea to be on your phone right by the door or have a phone hang loose when there’s a crowd.”

Zott also added if a thief steals your phone while you’re on the train watch out. Even with a password, they now have access to your contacts, email and other personal information.

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