Subway crime is up as MTA unveils wireless service

Riders who use pricey devices by subway doors are at risk of the “snatch-and-go” theft technique, transit police warn.

Calling all criminals: Wireless phone service will be available in seven underground stations today, but some worry the new service may appeal to thieves as much as straphangers.

Just yesterday, the NYPD revealed that robberies in the subway are skyrocketing, up nearly 40 percent this past August compared to August 2010.

And since January, 1,000 grand larcenies have been reported underground — a spike from the 787 reported in 2010.

The crime surge is mainly due to the prevalence of portable electronic devices, especially the iPhone 4, Assistant Chief Owen Monaghan said yesterday. He added that criminals are known to lurk in between train cars to spy on potential victims before robbing them.

“Much of the crime is happening on weekends —46 percent happens on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” he said.

To combat the crime surge, the NYPD is adding extra cops on the rails on weekends.

With the introduction of cell service, rider advocate Bill Henderson says he’s “concerned” that more opportunities to flash cell phones will only make it easier for thieves.

“It will encourage people to bring them out,” he said  of pricey phones.

And one subway rider told Metro she’d rather see the MTA invest in toll clerks than cell phone service.
“When there’s more of an official presence, then less things can happen,” Crown Heights student Beverly Blackman, 47, said. “[Now] there’s no one watching.”

Sorry, Verizon

Transit Wireless will start providing service for AT&T and T-Mobile customers at the following stations today:
A, C, E station at Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street
L station at Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street
C, E station at Eighth Avenue and West 23rd Street
1, 2, 3 station at Seventh Avenue and West 14th Street
F, M station at Sixth Avenue and West 14th Street
L station at Sixth Avenue and West 14th Street

Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.


Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…


New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.


Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…


Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.


Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.


Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.


Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.


Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.