Stay Alert

The MTA has posted an informative public service announcement produced by the NYPD, warning customers to "Stay Alert" and safeguard their personal electronic devices when riding the subway.

The 30-second spot shows instances of subway customers being victimized by thugs seeking to score a free electronic tablet, cell phone or digital music player.

These light and compact electronic items have become the favorite targets of opportunistic thieves who take advantage of riders who fail to pay attention to their surroundings. The first scene shows a young man sitting next to the door when another young man runs off and snatches his tablet. The thief is aided by an accomplice who holds open the train door long enough for his pal to jump off. The doors close before the victim can do anything.

The second scene has one thief snatching a device from a young woman waiting for a train. The suspect then dashes up the stairs and out of the station. The third scene depicts a woman leaving a station distracted as a man asks for the time. Before she can respond, however, the man makes off with her cell phone.

The PSA warns that the best way to avoid being a victim is to keep electronic devices out of sight. Good advice.