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Decoys target iPhone snatchers in NYC subway

NEW YORK -- Phone filchers, beware: the New York Police Department is sending undercover officers into the subways to stem a rising tide of iPhone and Kindle thefts.

Plainclothes officers will act as decoys, carrying high-priced gadgets like Apple's new iPhone 4S in hopes that thieves will try to snatch them, Assistant Police Chief Owen Monaghan said Monday.

Cases of theft in the subways are up nearly 24 percent from last year, mainly because people are carrying more electronic devices, Monaghan said. From January through October, there were 1,239 thefts in the subway, compared with 1,002 during the same period in 2010.

Detectives are also going after the fences who sell stolen electronics. They have identified 33 places where electronic devices are bought and sold and have caught 18 resellers in sting operations, Monaghan said.

-- Associated Press


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