Police officer cut-out causes decline in bike thefts
BOSTON (WHDH) -- A poster board of a real life MBTA officer has been stopping crime at the Alewife T station.
“At first glimpse, you want to say how silly it is that a cut-out of a cop would have an impact on crime,” said Deputy Chief, Robert Lenehan.
The poster board replica went on duty one month ago. The MBTA said bike thefts are down 67% because of it.
“For the prior year for the same time period there were, I believe, at least four or five bikes stolen from this particular bike cage, and to date, there has only been one stolen this year,” said Lenehan.
Ten-year veteran officer, David Silen agreed to lend his image to the experiment. There are two of these cut-outs “watching over” bikes at Alewife. He was surprised at how effective it has been.
“I had a conversation with a friend who’s a psychiatrist. She said to me, ‘a split second before someone commits a crime, maybe they glance up and see it, maybe it reminds them, there are police, there are cameras in the bike cages, it reminds them that maybe someone will come looking for them,’” said Silen.
The cut-outs have caused many commuters to do double-takes.
“If it stops one or two bikes from getting stolen, then I think it’s doing some good,” said Jeremiah Robertson.
“It’s definitely a good idea, and it doesn’t look too bad from this distance,” said Vincent Chen.
The T said it’s saving thousands of dollars to have the officer cut-out compared to a real officer patrolling the bike cage.