Subway Scammers in East Broadway Station

Posted on: December 27th, 2012 at 6:12 am by


Beware the subway scammers who post themselves inside the East Broadway entrance to the F station. One Boogie reader has witnessed such borderline-criminal activity transpire on an almost daily basis for at least the last few months.

It’s the typical old school New York City hustle. As we understand it, two men allegedly wreck the fare machines each day with the goal of charging straphangers for “swipes” of their unlimited card. These so-called “swipe guys” disable the dispensers by repeatedly jamming the slots. One dude stands upstairs near the entrance to Wing Shoon while the other plants himself near the turnstiles.

We are told that this tends to happen pretty much all hours of the day. The machines are busted, then the MTA repairmen appear. Numerous calls to the police have reportedly netted no response to the situation, and the practice continues unabated. And with good cause. Technically this age-old scam is no longer considered a felony. That’s right, last year, the New York Court of Appeals upended the law, ruling that the MTA “does not have a valid property interest in the swipe-buyer’s fare.” But such profiteers can still be prosecuted under “theft of services laws.”

The frequency of such actions down at the East Broadway station nevertheless irks riders and bottlenecks the flow of subway riders.

Our tipster quips:

The customers often use the ‘swipe’ guys because they are simply desperate to get into the subway. Imagine if you’re late already and then you’re not able to refill your fare card. Whenever I see this going down, I tell the people in either Chinese or English that they can buy cards at the Madison St entrance. The Chinese are particularly vulnerable, I find.

It’s also worth noting that this subway entrance was the site of a shooting just a couple weeks ago.

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  • LESider

    Why is it that subway swipers are allowed to continue with their criminal business unabated all over the city, while passengers who try to skip fares are promptly arrested?

    Meanwhile, the damage that these swipers continually do to fare machines costs enormous amounts in constant repair bills for MTA. Perhaps this kind of vandalism might be helping to fuel fare hikes.

    Finally, what ever happened to Zero Tolerance as a NYPD strategy? Permitting these swipers to continue with their crimes makes for a subway environment where anything goes. Knowing that they can get away with this,these guys can then go on to the next step of mugging and attacking passengers. No one is watching – no booth; no police so East Broadway continues to be quite a dangerous place, especially on the platform.

  • Billy Canu



    OMG!!! Why isn’t Dboyd from the LES DWELLERS aware of this. She should start a petition!!! SOME1 TELL HER