New York City subway crime was reported as up 16.6% over 2010 rates during the same period. This August showed a 27% increase over August in the previous year. These crimes include theft, robbery, sexual assault, drug crimes, and other offenses. In response to the public’s concern over safety and increased thefts, the NYPD is expected to announce plans at tonight’s MTA meeting to double the amount of undercover officers on the subway.
Given the high rate of iPads, cell phones, and other electronics being stolen, the presence of the undercover cops may prove effective in apprehending would-be offenders and serve as a strong warning. These cops function by posing as sleeping or extremely-intoxicated passengers – the ideal target of many larceny crimes. Of course, rather than nabbing a $500 iPad or other expensive toy, these would-be thieves face fines around $1,000 and $5,000.
New York does not have particularly gentle or forgiving laws related to petit larceny or grand larceny. These criminal offenses can have serious repercussions, even if it is just for a first offense in which less than $100 is taken. Petit larceny in New York City involves the theft of up to $1,000 in services or items. This means that even if you were arrested for shoplifting in Queens, you could find yourself facing a class A misdemeanor.
By this definition, even a $12 DVD or $80 pair of jeans can lead to up to 12 months in jail and a hefty fine. Of course, these are extreme scenarios, but they serve to underscore how even a seemingly tiny theft on a New York subway can lead to unfortunate immediate consequences. Long-term consequences can include the creation of a criminal record and closed opportunities for employment as background checks are used. This is why it is imperative for people arrested for theft on a New York subway to work with an experienced Queens NY theft lawyer as soon as possible.
Even if you were arrested for theft as a result of an undercover NYPD operation, your constitutional rights and future can still be defended in court. An arrest in this situation does not mean conviction will follow. However the likelihood of an unfortunate outcome may increase without a proper defense strategy and experienced legal counsel.