Felony crime up in the subway 9.2%, riders hit each other with tote bags and soda cans

Felony crime in the subway has risen 9.2% this year, police officials said Monday. The increase has been fueled by assaults with objects — which included tote bags, painting canvasses and soda cans — and robberies.

Between January and November, there were 2,241 felonies, an almost 10% spike from the 2,053 felonies in 2014.

Transit arrests were up last month, including a 11.2% boost in fare evasion collars, Chief Vincent Coogan said during an MTA board committee meeting.

More than 100 more sex crimes were also reported in the subway this year than last year. There have been 699 such crimes, largely for public lewdness and groping. Rapes are down 80%.

The NYPD and MTA have been doing outreach to get more victims to report sex crimes, such as creeps who expose themselves during people’s commutes. There has also been more targeted enforcement against lewd acts.

“Many of these crimes to light when officers observe elements of a crime and intervene,” said Coogan.

There have been 382 arrests for sex crimes, police said.

Transit cops have pictures of the most persistent sex offenders, and police have a tracking database for recidivists.

Coogan said police arrested one of the most persistent sex offenders on Dec. 4 at the Columbus Circle subway station.

Roger Reid, 55, has been arrested 31 times, largely for sex crimes in the subway. He was recently charged with five counts of persistent sexual abuse, and one count of attempted sexual abuse for groping women on the train, according to court papers.

MTA board member Charles Moerdler said prosecution was critical to keep riders safe from repeated sex offenders. “If you arrest them and you can’t prosecute in a timely fashion, and you can’t get sentencing that is appropriate, the arrest ain’t worth a damn,” he said.

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