NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Police said a Brooklyn man with a criminal history was arrested Thursday after he tried to steal an iPhone from a plainclothes officer on the subway.

Authorities said 47-year-old Kasseim Thomas was taken into custody at the Burnside Avenue station in the Bronx after he allegedly swindled the gadget aboard an uptown 4 Train.

Lieutenant Kevin Callaghan of the Manhattan Transit Task Force told 1010 WINS Friday that a group of officers –- including one in plain clothes –- were on the Lexington Avenue line looking for pickpockets in response to previously reported crimes.

Callaghan said Thomas “began to crowd the plainclothes officer” and had a sweatshirt over his hand as he reached into the cop’s backpack and removed the iPhone.

Thomas has been arrested 35 times since the 1980s.

“He a habitual offender, who just does his jail time, comes back out and regresses right back to the stuff he knows,” Callaghan said.

Police warn that potential victims can avoid being targeted by noticing odd behavior and not flashing expensive electronics and jewelry in public places.

“People are very engrossed in using their iPhone or BlackBerry.  They don’t seem to think it’s a problem,” Callaghan said. “People just have to be cognizant of who’s around them and that these valuables are attractive to criminals.”

SOUND-OFF: Do you think people need to be more careful with their valuables in public places? Share your thoughts in the comments section…

Comments (24)
  1. Octus says:

    Long gone are the days when, instead of crowding the prisons, the beat cop/s would take a low life criminal punk behind the warehouse and give him a good ass whipping every time he got caught. Easier on the jails, easier on the taxpayers and better for the criminal dummy who can connect the dots between what he did six months ago and the sentence the judge hands down. On the other hand, he stands a good chance of getting shot in my town today if the ‘victim’ thinks he can put a hole in him without damaging the stolen iPad.

  2. Dale Auburn says:

    There’s only one way to get rid of subway crime, and that is to shut down the entire subway system. Any takers?

    1. Senor Leche says:


    2. Vindicated says:

      That’s it! Ship him off to SPACE CAMP for life. He is going to the Baikonur Cosmodrome for Astronaut training and then he is going to be booted off to the Moon,,,good riddance. WEP assignments on the MOON, that’s what they’re asking for.

  3. nyc says:

    As a white nyc resident all my life and I woke up one day and found out I am a minority ! The worse thing that I miss is the American New York personality ! Gone.

  4. DK says:

    I had my iPhone stolen maybe from the sane guy it was on the (4) line. I was able to do anything as I had my baby on my stroller, I hope is the same guy as he was around he’s 40’s. They need to put him away for good.

  5. nyc says:

    What has our society come to ? We have to be careful of what jewelry and electronics we show in public ? Years ago the streets were safe, for people that were not around. I have been to countries that you can walk down the street any time of the day or night and you dont have to have fear. I am sooo sick of the increasing animals/savages on our streets ! Something has to change in America, as it seems to be getting worse not better !

    1. Bob Fowler says:

      The fact that the ACLU survives on taxpayer dollars might have something to do with this? WE pay an organization to assure rights to special interest groups at the expense of the majority. That just seems wrong.

  6. nycros says:

    Instead of putting him in prison,where we have to support him,send him to Afghanistan, and bring home a soldier, and for everyone that breaks the law send them to war and bring back our soldiers

    1. Janet Wenger says:

      That sounds like a good plan!

    2. John says:

      That sound so good I wish that would be. Let them go to war where they can run amuck in another country.

  7. Bushelfoote says:

    No, I don’t think you should have to do that……What country are we all in….I know its hard times out there but why do we have to resort to crime?…why CAN’T people just be decent and law abiding? Pickpocketing ?? Really?? Get A Job,Man!! Its people like this that make you think you’re in downtown Mogadishu…..knowhatImean,Vern? BUT WE’RE NOT……….

  8. yuu says:

    You moron its not the cops fault …they did their job 35 times …its the liberal judges who let him out ….think before you write

  9. Bob says:

    Arrested 35 times? Obviously never done hard jail time…that’s what this idiot needs!

    1. WOODSIDE MIKEY says:

      how can this happen??? really, 35 times and still on the streets… WHAT THE F@#K IS UP HERE ??? KILL THIS PRICK!!!!!!

      1. Daniel P. says:

        I agree.

  10. Bob Fowler says:

    Perhaps the problem isn’t that he has been sent to prison so many times? Perhaps the problem is that prison in America is a bit different than prison for the majority of the world? Instead of being politically correct, and fearing Amnesty International’s raucous protests, maybe prison should be a bad place, where people fear to go?

    Maybe eliminating 3 hots and a cot, tv, workouts, libraries, and CRIMINAL’s civil rights, might stem the tide of crime? Barbaric as it sounds, maybe you get to eat after 1 week in prison? That one meal will seem like Manna. If you behave, you get to eat again. If you act up, you maybe wait another week to eat? After a couple of weeks of not eating, I’ll bet you will want to behave, AND never want to return. Guards will be safer, as the population will be physically and mentally weakened, and fearful of another long run of not eating. Hunger will reform the spirit.

    Since we already have the highest percentage of population in prison, maybe it isn’t the laws, police or courts? Maybe the problem lies in the fact that many in prison don’t seem to mind being there?

    1. John says:

      Bob, I agree wholeheartedly. But of course, the ACLU and the other sissy organizations will not allow criminals to be treated like, well, criminals. So – let the taxpayers keep funding the comfortable housing of convicted criminals and murderers in jail, while the rest of the country runs out of money.

  11. jh says:

    47 yrs old…been arrested 35 times….
    how bout some real justice…
    1 year for all the times he’s been arrested…
    enough already…

  12. keanesmom says:

    Of course people need to be more careful. I don’t know why I see people whipping out their ipads and laptops on the train when those items can be easily stolen from you…but people aren’t aware of the dangers of the lowlifes that ride the train everyday. The people who cheer the lost you receive from being robbed by making a quick buck.

  13. iggy says:

    take him for a ride on the staten island ferry, and keel-haul him.

  14. jaybee 5 says:

    Potential victims can also avoid being targeted by telling the police not to let Thomas out of jail 34 out of 35 times. That would work too. Keep “Thomas” in the cage with bars that the “Potential victims” already paid for with their tax dollars. So – yeah maybe next time try not letting Thomas out of his cage so that he runs into a crowded subway with lots of “Potential victims” Try that. I think that would work too. Maybe? Ah dontchya think?

  15. StoptheBS says:

    What a softball question. No, people should flash expensive jewelry and electronics around while in public. Amazing journalism here.

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