NYPD Stepping Up Effort Against Subway Bandits Stealing Electronic Devices

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — You won’t see them, but they’ll be watching.

Undercover police officers are riding the rails to combat a sudden surge in robberies of straphangers’ cell phones, reports CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne.

There will be a new set of eyes and ears on the subway.   Dozens of undercovers will be disguising themselves as normal subway riders in order to catch the thieves who’ve been snatching people’s electronics, including iPods and iPads.

“When you’re sitting on the train, especially by the door, you’re using the cell phone … next thing you know you have no phone,” said Jasmay Stevenson of Canarsie.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

There has been a 23-percent surge in robberies in the subway this year, compared with the same period last year. Police said the suspects are getting more bold, including running up to people during the evening rush and grabbing their phones literally out of their hands and then running off.

“I actually saw a guy trying to do that in the subway. It’s kind of scary. The guy was just holding his phone, walking up the stairs. Some guy grabs it and tries to run away,” West Village resident Sam Simpson said.

The undercover officers will pretend to be subway riders playing with their cell phones or listening to music. They’ll wait for the suspects to strike and then they’ll catch them in the act.

“I guess I’ll feel more protected that way because I’m kind of always in my own zone. I think everyone is,” one straphanger said.

The NYPD said the undercover officers are taking a five-day intensive decoy training program to learn how to mimic distracted straphangers.

In the meantime, police said put your cell phones and iPads away.

The NYPD wouldn’t say exactly how many officers it’s deploying or where.

If you have any information, call police or Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS or visit their website.

Are you concerned when using an electronic device on the subway? Sound off in our comments section.


One Comment

  1. Meme Meyagi says:

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  2. C O says:

    Maybe they will steal a rigged cellphone from a muslim and get blown up while they run back to the hood.

  3. Lets get them says:

    People if you see someone stealing start beating them and the rest of New York will join in. Lets kick butt 1 at a time. And lets beat them until they cannot steal again.Or better yet lets get a trigger happy police man to finish them.

  4. badman says:

    every woman in NYC should be issued a taser. everyone would be so much better behaved.

  5. its good to know says:

    G-d created all of His creations. When you disparage any group of people you are disparaging G-d. It’s one thing to call crime evil. It’s also a crime to call an entire group of people evil. There are good and not good in every group.
    Learn to see the good in others. It’s healthier for your own self to walk around with love in your heart for your fellow human being.

    When you have grudges and hatred in your heart you are eating your own poison.

    1. John says:

      A little too liberal are we?…

      Oh, you type God as ‘G-d’.

      I see, never mind.

    2. Da Thug says:

      Alrighty then…please give me your g_ddam phone.

  6. FUNZI TIERI says:


    1. the truth says:

      well whenever you see these thugs in the news committing crimes they are always either nerdy jewish kids, or italians or irish. cant help but profile. whats terrible is the school going, law abiding teenage african americans have to be subjected to this when they are just trying to get to medical school or their vounteer facilities or their jobs

      1. Cliff Huxtable says:

        Wait one cotton-pickin minute here! Are you being sarcastic?

  7. sb says:

    mta has been removing token booth clearks and conductors at a crazy rate and now crime goes up–what do you expect???

    1. WE need bernie goetz says:

      I expect people to fight back enough already where is bernie goetz when you need him.

  8. jack holmes says:

    are there any zoos that need monkeys?

    1. silly mcgilly says:


  9. billy320 says:

    Sooooooooo now the crooks know what the cops are doing

    1. Mario says:

      exactly what I was thinking, they are do dahh ! is not even funny.

  10. Smash Crasher says:

    If you can’t exist for one friggin’ minute without a cellphone, iPad, iPhone or whatever glued to your ear you deserve to be ripped off. We live in a nation of sub-moronic idiots.

  11. Robert Richardson says:

    I always though NYPD was undercover underground? I think alot of the police presence in NYC is smoke and mirrors.

  12. jack holmes says:

    lets put them on wooden boats and shoot flaming arrows at them as there sailing back to africa.

    1. Peter says:

      that sounds good !!!! LOL

      1. MIKE says:


        1. Huh says:

          At least we were safer in a cave…

        2. Thirthton Thithtertinton says:

          for the most part, europeans are reasonably civilized…unlike africa..

        3. joey from B'hurst says:

          White man was here before the “Native American.” They were wiped out by the latter. Read a college level archeology book.

      2. smilin' sam says:

        lip plates….boogaboogabooga

        1. Freedomwriter says:

          you are an assh ole

    2. MizCB says:

      @ Jack Holmes…’They’re’, not ‘there’. If you’re going to be a bigot, try to spell right. Make the KKK proud!

Comments are closed.

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