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34 Responses to “Man steals phone on subway”

  1. Gyrofrog says:

    And it was a “gipsy” [sic].

  2. ChicagoD says:

    Yeah. That’s how they do it. Welcome to the big city. I had the sound off here at work. Why were they filming him?

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      Was going to say the same.  Saw a guy do this to somebody on the green line (Central stop) back in the day, but with a poor girl’s necklace instead. Sad to see her break out in tears and her mom and dad try to console her.

      Also, at one point the thief looked like he was about to fall asleep… *edit* I see that’s part of his routine.

    • ocker3 says:

       Because they’d seen it before. Lack of consistent acting on his part.

  3. This happened to my wife on BART just a couple of weeks ago. She forced the doors open, screaming at the guy. Somebody managed to tackle him and got her phone back; the guy left his shoe behind and bolted.

  4. Its all in the timing. Presumably the tone before the doors close is triggered by the signal which closes the door so he just has to learn the exact interval to wait after the tone to grab the item.

    Thats a bummer of a failure mode right there. I would love to see traceability for that in the system level design.

    • ChicagoD says:

      Although a simple barrier between that seat and the doors would be (a) more comfortable for riders (both standing and sitting), and (b) make this harder to do.

  5. haha I actually saw this story in the news the other day and was thinking of submitterating it here.

    According to the news report, he’s been doing this phone theft thing regularly on Metro line 3. Part of his schtick is to act drunk or drugged, so as to disarm people around him into thinking he wouldn’t be able to react fast. But it backfired on him as another passenger was suspicious of this behavior and started filming him.

    They caught him by showing the video to the police, who could identify and locate him since he just got out of jail. Back to the clink!

  6. Oh and the lady watching at the end yells, “What a dick!”

  7. He didn’t steal anything. She didn’t build that phone, and he looked like he needed it more.  Just spreading the wealth around

    • joeposts says:


    • petertrepan says:

      Oh, I get it! By making reference to the phrase Obama used when arguing that most large scale projects are collaborative and not the work of individual heroes of industry, you are comparing the theft of the phone to the claim that more progressive taxation would be a fairer way to fund the collaborative efforts of government than the practice of levying flat taxes that, while seemingly fairer to people who believe they may be such captains of industry in the future, allow elites to use funds from past successes to erect barriers to entry that prevent future innovators from competing in an open market, and…
      Wait, I guess you lost me after all.

    • DevinC says:

      Is it just one guy who is always trying to threadjack a conversation for purposes of Obamabashing?  ‘Cos I see it all over, not just in BoingBoing.  The connection’s always tenuous at best, and the humour pretty weak, so there is a certain stylistic unity.

      Or is it a whole lot of people?  I can’t believe a whole class of people honestly think their observations of dubious perspicuity are needed wherever they go.

      So I’m going with the “single prolific troll” theory.

  8. Kelly M says:

    So, was the knowing person who filmed this an accomplice?  A suspicious rider?

  9. bluest_one says:

    Interesting to note how he first relaxes his right arm, in preperation and then once the doors open, he hooks his left leg around to prevent them closing on him.

  10. fidel_funk says:

    i blew 12 years of my life in Budapest… we couldnt leave leave baby toys in the entry for 30 secs, WHAM! gone… garden tools or an un-opened beer on the terrace… Man our tulips dug out and gone… turn your back and bye-bye…

  11. fidel_funk says:

    Hah… i one had friends visiting… they parked their can on the road in front of our house… and after a nite of heavy partying in the morning they found their car, standing on bricks – no wheels…

  12. Itsumishi says:

    Well I’d still prefer this the brand of phone stealing I see fairly often on Melbourne’s public transport. That usually involves groups of feral looking kids in tracksuits surrounding one or two people (usually Indians or Asians, talking to them initially like they’re being friendly but quickly devolving into “hand over your phones or we’ll follow you off at your station and beat the living crap out of you. Oh and don’t think about pressing the emergency button or we will just do it on the train in front of people”… Unfortunately the physical beating side of thing happens often enough and gets reported often enough in the news that people do simply hand over the phones. In the scheme of things I’d prefer the grab and run.

    This is also why I hate seeing people that are obviously tourists walking around Melbourne with their backpacks on their fronts. Pickpocketing isn’t much of a problem here, muggings are. Putting the backpack on your front pretty much yells out “the stuff I have in here is valuable!”.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

       Not so much anymore, but the white earbuds used to pretty much advertise to hoods:  I have an iPod or iPhone please take it!!!

  13. smeno smeno says:

    Budapest is beautiful. But somebody stole my old shoes there. From under my head while I was taking a nap on a meadow. Really crazy.