After attack on woman, CATS offers security tips for rail and bus riders

By Kay Johnson - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Thousands ride Charlotte's light rail every day and arrive home safely. But another attack sparks more safety questions.

A Charlotte woman was robbed and attacked Thursday morning at a light rail stop in Southend.

CATS officials have increased security personnel over the years but security officers cannot be everywhere everytime.

CATS provides a safety list on their website - tips on how to be less of a target for thieves.

The first tip, always be alert. A check of one transit station proved many people were busy talking on a cell phone, reading a book or listening to music.

The list also suggests people keep valuables close or out of sight. Rider Shari Ealey says she does whatever it takes not to be a target including strapping her purse across her body.

There were also a lot of people traveling alone. Michelle Ruff says she doesn't feel unsafe by herself in the daytime but does at night.

She says she sees officers riding the light rail from time to time. And within 15 minutes at the station 2 police cars drove down South Boulevard.

Ruff says she changed some of her habits after being robbed a couple of month ago -

"Not here[transit station] but at an apartment's not just here it's anywhere in Charlotte," Ruff said.

She says she no longer goes out alone at night and stopped carrying a purse. But the biggest change she's made - being aware of other people. CATS reminds people to be aware of someone who appears lost, loiters or appears nervous.

CATS has installed cameras on all buses, light rails and park and ride lots.

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