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Cardboard cutout of police officer used to cut thefts

As part of an effort to cut crime, transit police placed a cardboard cutout of a police officer in the bicycle cage. (MBTA) As part of an effort to cut crime, transit police placed a cardboard cutout of a police officer in the bicycle cage. (MBTA)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - The burly officer watching over the bike racks at a Boston-area transportation hub is a real stiff.
    
As part of an effort to cut crime at the Alewife MBTA subway and bus station in Cambridge, transit police placed a cardboard cutout of a police officer in the bicycle cage. Hundreds of people use the racks daily.
    
Deputy Chief Robert Lenehan says the fake cop, along with video cameras and a new lock, has cut bike thefts by 67 percent.
    
It's also a money saver. Lenehan estimates it would cost $200,000 a year to have an officer watch over the cage full-time.
    
The cutout is actually a picture of real MBTA Officer David Silen.
    
Silen says the split second thieves take to glance at the cutout is enough to discourage them.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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