Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is warning cops about rope bracelets containing hidden
handcuff keys, according to an internal NYPD memo obtained by the Voice.
Kelly sent out photos of the product to all commands earlier this week. The key is plastic, so it won’t set off metal detectors. He says prisoners, particularly in Virginia, have used the bracelet key to escape.
“Uniformed members of the service are cautioned to remain alert, thoroughly search prisoners and remove all jewelry and nonessential articles,” Kelly writes.
So, where’s this product coming from? Well, we looked around on the internet and found a similar item. It’s priced at $12 to $30 and, and for you fashion conscious folks, comes in five colors. This website marketing says that the item “requires law enforcement identification.”
A law enforcement officer who manufactures similar bracelets says he only sells to other police officers, but he noted that there other less scrupulous people who are willing to sell to anyone.
There’s also an article about hacker Kevin Mitnick in which he’s wearing one of the bracelets. Mitnick tells a CNET reporter that he wears it on trips to South America in case he’s kidnapped.
As for Kelly’s claim that prisoners had used them to escape, we couldn’t find any reports of that. But presumably, Kelly has better info than we do.