BART riders warned not to use white earbuds

San Francisco is home to one of the largest Apple retail stores, an extremely high concentration of iPod users and BART – the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. But riders of BART are now being warned by transit officials about iPod thefts.

A flyer now available at BART stations is headlined PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR iPOD and notes:

One of the latest robbery targets is your Apple iPod. Robberies on BART aren’t common, averaging about 15 per month systemwide, but iPod thefts amount to 11% of those robberies. iPod theft is not unique to BART; it is a crime of opportunity occurring when an individual is seen wearing the familiar white iPod ear buds.

Bart Police are recommending a number of tactics for riders to use to be safe, including “always be alert and aware of your surroundings” and “if threatened, scream or make noise to draw attention.” But first on their list is

Don’t be a target: Use ear buds other than the standard iPod white, or other aftermarket headphones.