There is no cell phone service on most of the mostly-subterranean New York City subway. So when the New York Police Department says that thieves are snatching more cell phones from the hands of distracted riders than ever before, you've got to think Angry Birds is involved in this.
"We've been seeing an incredible trend of young people snatching those cellphones," the head of the NYPD's transit force was quoted as saying in a story about the rising crime stats in the Wall Street Journal. Subway crime is low, he said, but grand larcenies in the subway were at 311 by the end of March, up 18% from the previous year.
This year, there were 311 grand larcenies on the subway through the end of March, an 18% increase over the same period in 2010, according to police statistics.
The Journal noted that "passengers sitting near subway doors holding a gadget are more vulnerable than those farther from a potential escape path."
I ride these subways. At least a dozen people in any rush hour subway car have their faces in their phones (myself included). I spy a glance and the majority of them are playing games. So be careful Drop 7 players and Angry Birds addicts. Or at least hold on tight.
Mind the App: Thieves Target Phones [The Wall Street Journal]