MTA Worker, Cop Foil Alleged Subway Phone Thief

The suspect stole a cell phone from the hand of a sleeping subway passenger

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012  |  Updated 11:03 AM EDT
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MTA Worker, Cop Foil Alleged Subway Phone Thief

AP

FILE PHOTO

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An alert MTA worker and a quick-thinking police officer are being credited in the arrest of an alleged thief who sneaked a cell phone from a sleeping subway passenger, police said.

An MTA cleaning agent was working on a stopped E train at the Parsons Boulevard and Archer Avenue subway station in Jamaica, Queens, when he saw a man take a black cell phone from the hand of a sleeping passenger, police said.

The suspect saw that the MTA worker was watching the incident and yelled at him, then fled, according to police. The owner of the phone stayed asleep and was still on the train when it left the station.

A police officer was called down to meet the worker, and as the officer was speaking with him, the worker saw the alleged thief on the platform, according to police. The worker pointed the suspect out to the police officer.

The officer arrested the suspect without incident. The 25-year-old victim's iPhone was recovered, along with two bank cards and a student ID belonging to another man. 

Both victims were contacted, and both positively identified their property.

The 32-year-old suspect from Long Island was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

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