NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is getting the word out to straphangers to stay alert and keep their cell phones and other electronic devices out of sight when riding the subway.

The agency has released a 30-second public service announcement showing a dramatization of bold suspects running up to straphangers during rush hour and grabbing devices right out of their hands and then vanishing.

The PSA warns that the best way to avoid being a victim is to keep electronic devices out of sight.

In 2011, robberies on the subway surged 23 percent from the year before.

Last year, the NYPD deployed dozens of undercover officers into the subways to catch thieves who snatch people’s cell phones, iPods and iPads.

The NYPD also offers help even before you become a victim.  People can bring their portable electronic devices to any precinct to get an ID numbers etched on it, that way if it does get stolen, it will be easier to find.

Watch the PSA below:

Comments (5)
  1. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx says:

    Why are two of these three actors who commit the crimes white when the statics show Blacks and Hispanics commit these crimes..

    1. cubanflowers says:

      You sound dumb. does it really matter the color of the thieves?? this is a dramatization!

      also those stats are only based on the number of reported crimes so NOBODY knows the real stats on race/ethnicity of the crooks!

      be blessed sweetie..

      1. KPMc says:

        yes… because everyone clutches their belongings tighter when they see a middle aged white guy approaching.

        Maybe the world would be a better place if we could be honest about the things that go on in it.

        On another note why are people so oblivious to their surroundings that they are letting this happen so often?

        I know that a t least a couple of times I have discouraged thugs that were eyeing peoples devices as a station was approaching just by staring at them and letting them know I know what they are up to all the while the potential victim had no idea, mindlessly playing with their device.

  2. Sydelle Houston says:

    LoJack software on everything should be standard on all these electronic devices

  3. Tobias Woods says:

    Just one more reason to never leave the house unarmed!

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