WASHINGTON - According to a report from Metro Transit Police, two 13-year-olds were targeted by older teenagers Monday afternoon who stole their cellphones at the Potomac Avenue Metro station.
The victims were on a Blue Line train at Potomac Avenue when the two suspects blocked them from getting off the train and used threats of violence to force them to unlock their phones. They also had the victims disable location tracking before stealing the phones. The suspects then ordered the victims to stay on the train for two more stops so that the suspects could get away.
A witness helped the victims contact their parents.
Metro says robberies in the transit system are down 19 percent so far this year and are at their lowest rate in a decade. So far this year, Metro says there have been 180 robberies, compared to 222 for the same time period in 2017.
In July, Metro Transit Police arrested three minors for more than 50 cellphones thefts.
It's unclear who the suspects are in Monday's robbery and Metro says it won't release images or video of the suspects because they are minors.
Shannan Kavanagh, the mother of one of the victims, says she doesn't feel safe sending her child to and from school on Metro following this incident.
"It's just frightening not knowing I guess how the kids are going to get back and forth to school," she said. "If they can't take the bus and they don't feel safe on the Metro, I guess we look at riding bikes and parents doing all the pickups, which is not really sustainable."