Search on for suspects who broke into and operated subway cars in Queens

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Thursday, January 4, 2024
Search underway for suspects who broke into, operated subway cars
Lauren Glassberg has more on the investigation from Forest Hills.

FOREST HILLS, Queens (WABC) -- New York City police are searching for the suspects who broke into empty trains in Queens and drove them a short distance before running away.

The incident happened Dec. 30 around 4:45 p.m. near the Forest Hills-71st Avenue subway station.

Authorities say the group entered the operators' compartments of two lead train cars before driving the train cars northbound a short distance.

Video released by the NYPD shows someone entering a subway and propping open the door. Another video shows a different person on a train.

The president of New York City Transit says the trains wouldn't and didn't get far.

"The signal system would have prevented that train from getting on the main line, the emergency brake would have stopped it too... two, our tower operator saw it immediately and called 911," said Richard Davey.

As for how they got inside the compartments, apparently keys can be purchased.

"We have seen an uptick in people trying to sell these keys online and we're addressing that," Davey said.

The union says it's also working on "strategies to safeguard our equipment and prevent incidents like this."

And while it may have been a prank or a joyride for the suspects, it still raises questions among riders.

"It does seem strange, especially how much like we're always talking about the MTA, how much money goes into the MTA and seems like it shouldn't be that easy for a couple random people to do," a passenger said.

There were no reported injuries as a result of the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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Kemberly Richardson has details.


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