Subway grand larceny figures up nearly 40 percent


The NYPD has released subway crime figures for the first two months of the year, and yet again, grand larceny numbers are up markedly. In February, the police received 126 grand larceny reports — up by 35 over February 2011 — and the year-to-date numbers show a similar increase. Grand larcenies are up 39 percent, and robberies are up 47 percent.

The numbers, of course, are alarming, but we know what’s fueling these increases: device thefts. Unsuspecting straphangers are too busy playing Angry Birds to notice their vulnerability. Thus, grab-and-go larcenies become more common. According to officers I’ve spoken with, iPads have quickly become the most popular devices since they’re worth the most, and iPhones are a constant target as well. Even as the subways are significantly safer now than they’ve been in years, we should still remain aware of our surroundings, as one of those endlessly annoying subway announcements makes perfectly clear.

Categories : Asides, Subway Security

10 Responses to “Subway grand larceny figures up nearly 40 percent”

  1. Adam E says:

    Which stations do these thefts occur at?

    • I’d probably have to FOIL that info. The numbers provided voluntarily by the NYPD/Transit do not contain that level of granularity.

      • SEAN says:

        It’s amazing to see both sides of issues regarding new portable techknology like IPods & smart phones. On one hand they have changed the way we communicate while on the other hand, the users of such devices become unaware of the world around them. As a result of this, these devices can easily be picked by theves. That is why I almost never pull out my phone on the subway unless it is really nessessary.

        • Kai B says:

          The two sides could also be seen this way:

          The fact that subway passengers feel comfortable having expensive electronics out shows just how far subway safety has come. But of course it makes it more likely that someone would be tempted into committing a crime by stealing one.

  2. John-2 says:

    IIRC, although the overall crime rate was higher back around 1979-80, there were also reports of people in the subway carrying around those newfangled Sony Walkmans being targeted by the rip-n’-run types in the same way iPhone/iPad users are today. So it’s really more a matter of the same phenomenon, just with 30 years newer technology.

  3. I really think that these and most “crime figures” are really based on what the police want them to be.

  4. Al D says:

    I tell you. I was sure that I was targeted for a grab n go the other day. I was playing with my iPhone when I saw out of the corner of my eye 1 of these street skell type of guys wandering towards my end of the car in a not so inconspicuous fashion, i.e. I’m trying too hard to be non-chalant and care free to be so. Then he stops next to me near the door and is pretending to check himself out in the window’s reflection, angling his escape (I believed)such that he would reach with 1 arm and take 1 or 2 big steps out the opposite door at the next stop. Well, by now I was already on to him and had put my iPhone in my shirt pocket, less of an easy grab now, and then when the train approached the station, I pretended to have this horrible nose itch. I was scratching, rubbing, etc. at my schnozole, thereby covering my shirt pocket and iPhone completely by my forearm. At this point the chap had given up and had wandered off to some far door to move to the next car in the hopes, I am sure, of catching a rider less attentive than me…

    • The Cobalt Devil says:

      Well done! I’m often amazed at how some iPOD/iPhone users are completely and totally unaware of their surroundings. I watched one kid stare at his gadget from Times Square to Chambers St on the 7th Ave express without looking up ONCE the whole ride. He stared at that thing like he was holding the Hope Diamond in his hand. He had absolutely no ideas what was going on around him, and he was standing near the door the whole time. Any thief would have taken him as an easy mark.

      Note to iPOD and other similar gadget devotees: look up and around you every minute or so to see what’s going on around you. And don’t get all surprised when the train is delayed or rerouted and you didn’t hear the 10 announcements made by the conductor. Lower the volume or take off the earpods every now and then.

  5. Andrew Smith says:

    What, precisely, are we supposed to do with this information? What does it mean to be aware of our surroundings? There are lots of dodgy looking people on the subway. If I were to put away my phone every time I saw one, I’d never use it. And yet I’ve never had my phone stolen nor seen it happen.

    They either need to give more info about where these crimes happen and when and how — information that might well allow people to concoct intelligent self defense strategies — or stop with the warnings. This is nearly as worthless as warning us that “life is sometimes dangerous, be careful.”


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