The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that a reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to arrest and indictment of a person or persons responsible for a recent wave of window vandalism on subway cars. The announcement follows a high-level meeting with MTA and NYPD officials today to discuss strategies to stop the vandalism. The reward is being paid for by the MTA and tips will be processed by NYPD Crime Stoppers. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. Crime Stoppers is offering an additional $2,500 reward, for a total reward of up to $12,500. Since April there have been more than 70 incidents of smashed windows across four subway lines, with the majority of incidents occurring on the 7 line in Queens, and the remainder on the 2, 3 and A lines. The repair and replacement cost for the windows has thus far been more than $300,000. Since Friday evening, 25 windows have been smashed on three 7 line trains.
The windows are made of a specialized ballistic safety glass designed to keep people safe by not shattering. The MTA keeps a stockpile of replacement glass, but that has been exhausted, causing a need for glass vendors to keep up with the wave of vandalism with new production in real-time, and threatening to require service adjustments due to trains being out of service should the vandalism continue. These challenges come at a time when the MTA can ill-afford additional costs due to the fiscal crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The MTA will pursue civil litigation to reclaim funds spent on window repair in the event that the responsible parties are identified. Thanks to the urgent mobilization and flexibility of NYC Transit’s Division of Car Equipment, 7 train schedules have not been impacted thus far, though every vandalized train must go out of service for repair, causing short-term delays at the time of the incident. NYC Transit officials continue to monitor the situation and are forming contingency service plans if the vandalism along the line continues.
-via Press Release