Take a look…a very good look.
Notice anything out of the ordinary, except maybe a big uniformed cop ready to call some of his pals so you can get cuffed and thrown into the slammer?
According to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, that’s pretty much the conclusion that lots of would-be perps have been coming to of late when they get a gander of this guy — bike thefts on his beat are down 67 percent, Yahoo! News reported.
Except for one thing: The “cop” is a cardboard cutout.
A month ago, two life-sized poster board cutouts of a real-life MBTA police officer were placed near the bike cage at the Alewife T mass transit station in Cambridge, WHDH-TV reports, and the results have been huge.
The replicas are of officer David Silen, a decade-long vet of the department.
“At first glimpse, you want to say how silly it could be that a cut-out of a cop would have an impact on crime,” Deputy Chief Robert Lenehan said. That is, until he had the incontrovertible evidence:
“In the prior year for the same time period there were, I believe, either four or five bikes stolen from this one specific bike cage, and to date, there’s only been one stolen this year.”
The MBTA says the cutout cop gives folks with ill-intent a reason to keep on moving, adding that surveillance cameras and a locked cage have also helped.
Best of all, perhaps? The MBTA says it’s saved around $200,000 that it would need to pay a flesh-and-blood officer at the location full-time year round.
You just hope that bike thieves in Cambridge aren’t watching the news.