Here is an interesting trend in police work, as reported by Metro: Transit cops, dressed like just regular old you and me commuter, will pretend to fall asleep on the subway only to open an eye and quickly bust pickpockets (really, we should just start calling these people out-in-the-open iPhone/BlackBerry/iPod thieves) in the act. Two lessons: One, you should not assume that that random guy sleeping on your shoulder is just a guy sleeping on your shoulder (though you shouldn’t assume he isn’t, either). There may be as many as 50 to 200 undercover cops on the subway at any given time!
And two, keep a fierce grip on your tech devices, because they are what today’s modern thief seems to desire most, and they are what you will be distracted by when today’s modern thief tries to grab them away from you and must be stopped by today’s modern undercover cop.
Where these undercover cops were during the recent attempted hijacking of a Number 5 train, or that time a baby nearly got lost in the scuffle of a subway brouhaha, or during the Great Spaghetti or Lo Mein Battle or the Racist Naked Subway Rant of 2011, is currently unknown, but we imagine they were sleeping.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 27, 2011