Subway robberies jumped in 2019, for second straight year

Robberies surged on New York’s subway system in 2019 — for the second straight year, police said Tuesday.

Despite overall crime on the rails trending down, robberies on the subways increased from 486 in 2018 to 546 last year — a 12.3 percent jump, Chief Vincent Coogan of the NYPD’s 2nd Transit District told MTA board members.

In 2017, 450 robberies were reported.

Less-frequent commuter rail robberies also increased last year — from eight to 14 on the Long Island Rail Road and 15 to 16 on Metro-North, he said.

The stats alarmed some MTA board members, who have spent the past year discussing how to best address increases in some crime stats.

“I almost never see an NYPD officer, let along an MTA PD officer, on a train,” said board member Larry Schwartz, an appointee of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who suggested that more officers should patrol trains as opposed to stations and platforms.

Coogan said the bulk of last year’s robberies happened in Brooklyn.

He added that cops are examining whether the uptick was due to a controversial new state law that allows suspects accused of misdemeanors and some non-violent felonies to walk free with no bail — even though those reforms went into effect this month, and robbery remains a bail-eligible offense.

“We’re looking at all aspects. We’re looking at the bail reforms to see if that may be a contributing factor,” he told board members. “We look at crime patterns … and we move resources there.”

In November, The Post reported that the NYPD’s focus on a drop in felonies obscured a 23 percent rise in misdemeanor complaints.

The NYPD Transit Bureau consists of around 2,700 officers, Coogan said on Tuesday. The MTA is currently in the process of hiring 500 new officers of its own, increasing the size of its in-house police force by around 60 percent.

Additional reporting by Craig McCarthy

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