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Deanwood station logs most Metro crime in 2011

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Local,DC,Transportation,Kytja Weir

The Deanwood Metrorail station in Northeast D.C. was the most dangerous stop on the transit system in 2011, according to a new Metro report.

The station had the highest number of serious cases called "part 1" crimes, a list that can include robbery, rape, auto theft or assault. The Anacostia station ranked second.

Neither station made the top 10 the year before. And with Suitland and College Park, which ranked fourth and fifth, four of the worst five stations were new to the list from 2010.

Most dangerous Metro stations in 2011*
1. Deanwood, 67 cases
2. Anacostia, 64 cases
3. L'Enfant Plaza, 63 cases
4. Suitland, 60 cases
5. College Park, 55 cases
6. Largo Town Center, 53 cases
7. Southern Avenue, 52 cases
8. Minnesota Avenue, 51 cases
9T. Gallery Place, 46 cases
9T. Greenbelt, 46 cases
The five safest stations
Arlington Cemetery, Clarendon, Eisenhower, Farragut West and Virginia Sq.-GMU had no reports of the most serious types of crimes.
*As measured by "part 1" crimes, the most serious types of cases: assault, arson, burglary, homicide, larceny, auto theft, attempted auto theft, rape and robbery.

Still, some things stay the same. Just as in 2010, the 10 Metrorail stations with the most serious crimes last year were all in the District and Prince George's County even though the system extends into Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, according to a new Metro report slated to be presented to Metro's board members on Thursday.

The list also includes some repeat stations -- L'Enfant Plaza, Largo Town Center, Southern Avenue, Minnesota Avenue, Gallery Place and Greenbelt. All had 46 or more of the most serious types of crimes.

Even as some stations reported more crime, though, Metro overall had a 16 percent decline in serious incidents in 2011 compared with the six-year surge logged in 2010. Still, the agency had a higher crime rate, as measured by crimes per millions of trips, compared with five other transit agencies, as reported by The Washington Examiner last week.

The drop in crimes is reflected in the top 10. In 2010, New Carrollton ranked as the most dangerous station with 89 of the most serious crimes, while in 2011 Deanwood earned the top spot with just 67 reports. New Carrollton's crimes, meanwhile, dropped by more than half to 38 cases, putting the station in 14th place after the agency stepped up its fight against parking lot crimes such as thefts from vehicles.

It's not entirely clear what caused the top 10 to shuffle among the 86 stations, according to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.

"There really isn't a single reason we can point to," he said.

Crime trends may reflect the crime in the neighborhoods around them. Or a push by cops can drive the trends in either direction. The Metro Transit police have been focusing undercover officers on the Anacostia station, trying to attract would-be thieves of iPhones to rob the wrong riders. That could be driving up the numbers of cases there, Stessel added. In other spots, the presence of uniformed cops could be deterring crime.

Metro Transit Police also are analyzing crime statistics every two weeks, looking for hot spots, then redeploying their efforts there, similar to the model popularized by the New York Police Department.

kweir@washingtonexaminer.com

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