NBC New York
The NYPD is upping the stakes for subway thieves on the hunt for riders' high-tech gadgets. Called "Operation Decoy", the plan involves a team of specially trained officers that riders won't even know are there. Andrew Siff reports.
The New York Police Department is sending undercover officers into the subways to stem a rising tide of iPhone and Kindle thefts.
The decoys will carry high-priced gadgets like Apple's new iPhone 4S in hopes that thieves will try to snatch them.
Suwbay rider Mariano Santos is eager to find out if the police department's aggressive new plan works.
"That's probably a really good idea," said Santos. "I have an iPod I never take on the subway because I feel like someone's gonna take that."
Peter Vallone, chair of the City Council's Public Safety Committee told NBC New York the plan mirrors the NYPD's usual strategy: flush out a crime wave with extra officers.
"Decoys are another twist on that, and it works," said Vallone. "The problem is, where do you get the cops from? Crime is not just down in the subways."
NBC New York first reported in September subway crime was up nearly 17 percent from last year; cases of theft in the subways are up nearly 24 percent. Monaghan says it's mainly because people are carrying more electronic devices with them.
Detectives are also going after the fences who sell stolen electronics. They've identified 33 places where electronic devices are bought and sold and have caught 18 resellers in sting operations.