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HomePeopleWhy grab a purse when you can steal an ID?

Why grab a purse when you can steal an ID?


Crime has become so 21st century. Young criminals are turning to technology-based theft that doesn’t require any physical contact with the victims. Crime that is less public is also less messy. The 19th Precinct’s community meeting on Monday included a sobering and (almost) entertaining look at the various cons now infesting our stores, banks, gas stations and anywhere else we insert our bank cards and enter codes.

“Why do a violent crime and get $15?”

Lt. Gregory Besson of the NYPD’s Financial Crimes Task Force, told the assembled Upper East Siders. “ID theft is more money, less risk.”

If you’ve been a victim or don’t want to be one, read this. Lt. Besson can be contacted at:

It amazes us that young criminals possessing the energy, ambition and technical skills to perpetrate these cons don’t just apply them in a legitimate business. Can any of you explain this?

A sampling:

  • The keypad overlay, where the crook puts his own keypad over a legit one, thus capturing your information.
  • The skimmer/key pad. An overlay attached to an ATM keypaid.
  • A pinhold camera above the keypad that videos your fingers punching in a password.


Muggings enter the 21st century

Muggings enter the 21st century