Another iPhone thief caught

Posted on December 12, 2011

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Another iPhone thief has been caught by NYPD plainclothes decoys, this time on the No. 4 train at Grand Central Station .

Raymond Rodriguez, 47, of 986 Morris Avenue, the Bronx, was arrested and charged after he lifted the phone from the backpack of a plainclothes decoy police officer. Decoys have caught at least six phone thieves in the subway since May this year.

The man who also has  27 unsealed prior arrests was taken into custody on December 11, at 3:15 p.m., and was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. His priors include arrests for assault, robbery, burglary, grand larceny and possession of stolen property, as well as drug-related offenses.

According to the NYPD, the number of decoys have been doubled  to combat a spike in grand larcenies, mainly of iPhones, cell phones and other personal electronic devices being stolen from inattentive subway riders. While the NYPD does not disclose the exact number of officers assigned as decoys,  dozens have been trained to catch suspects in the act.

The decoys, backed by a team of nearby officers ready to make arrests, mimic the characteristics of subway crime victims. For example, unsuspecting riders often have cell phones or other devices snatched from the back of an accessible backpack, or from their hands while standing near subway doors.

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Posted in: Crime