Man Posing as Cop Stole Straphanger's Phone in Penn Station, NYPD Says

By Aidan Gardiner on February 19, 2013 12:42pm 

MIDTOWN — A badge-wielding thief was caught on camera posing as a police officer to dupe a straphanger into handing over his phone near Penn Station Sunday, police say.

The suspect approached his victim near 33rd Street and Eighth Avenue at a Penn Station entrance at about 8 p.m. on Jan. 13, according to the NYPD.

He identified himself as a police officer and flashed what the victim said looked like an official shield before demanding the victim hand over his identification and phone, police said. He led his victim down the subway stairs to the turnstiles where video footage shows the suspect pointing angrily at the victim, who raises his hands repeatedly in apparent disbelief.

Eventually, the victim pulls out his wallet and pulls out his Metrocard, which the suspect instructed him to swipe at the turnstile and enter the station, cops said.

The suspect fled the scene, cops said.

Cops described the suspect as being in his 20s, standing approximately 5 foot 7 inches and weighing about 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black bubble jacket and black wool cap.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers' website or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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