Mayor Thomas Menino and Police Commissioner Edward Davis Honor Local Graphic Design Students for their Crime Prevention EffortsStatistics Show 41% Decrease in Sidekick Theft Since October of 2008 Mayor Thomas Menino, Police Commissioner Edward Davis and MBTA Transit Chief Paul MacMillan honored 11 local graphic design students from the Boston Arts Academy for their efforts to assist with crime prevention. The students, enlisted by the Boston Police School Police, used their new-found graphic design skills to create posters to increase awareness of sidekick (cellphone) theft. The winning poster will be placed throughout Boston Public Schools and also on the MBTA. The students who participated in this effort are learning Graphic Design in the 10th grade at the Boston Arts Academy. The students include: Joshua Pimental, Reginald Pinckney, Ricardo Reid (designed winning poster), Patricia Rizzo, Leah Robertson, Glendy Rodriguez, Yoselin Rodriguez, Samuels Takii, Jerome Shelton, Laura Tabares and Victor Trede. “This partnership speaks to the essence of our community policing strategy,” Mayor Menino said. “Students are often the victims of these thefts, and I’m grateful that such a talented group of young people has stepped up to the plate to help the Police Department reduce these crimes. These creative posters will help send a message that such crime is not tolerated in the City of Boston.” Police Commissioner Ed Davis stated, “The Boston Police Department is always looking for innovative and collaborative ways within our community to address public safety concerns. The collaboration with the talented students here today is a perfect example of those efforts. We greatly appreciate the time and creativity that the students gave to this initiative. We are confident that their work will have a valuable impact in our community.” Boston Police statistics show that Sidekick thefts have decreased 41% since the department launched an aggressive crackdown in October of 2008. Boston Police began the crackdown on cell phone robberies specifically Sidekicks as the result of an increase in incidents in 2008. Statistics indicated that in 2008 slightly more than 300 sidekick robberies occurred citywide. Sidekick robberies accounted for approximately 14% of all of the City’s robberies. Data also shows that the majority of these incidents occur either before or after school. In 2008 there was an average of 28 sidekick thefts a month. In 2009 through the end of March, there has been an average of 16 robberies per month. This represents a 41% decrease. The Boston Police Department launched a multi-pronged effort to address this issue and prevent future robberies. Investigators have targeted stores suspected of purchasing stolen phones and then re-selling them, which is a violation of MA General Law Chapter 140: Section 55, Sale and Purchase of Secondhand Articles Without a License. In addition, the Boston Police School Police Unit worked closely with the School Department to raise awareness among students. Boston Police collaborated with these students to create an awareness poster to be distributed to students as part of ongoing prevention efforts.