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NYPD: In some subway stations, it's the wild west.

Monday, April 26, 2010 - 09:09 PM

(Matthew Schuerman, WNYC, April 26)

New York's MTA is investigating "keygate" Transit officials say they will conduct "an immediate audit" of subway emergency gate keys, to try to keep them from being copied and sold. This comes after the Daily News reported that gate keys have been copied and are widely available.

Thomas Prendergast, president of New York City Transit, says that he's taking an inventory of all of the people who have the keys, how many keys there are out right now, and will then take the necessary steps to ensure sure only authorized people have the keys.

Raymond Diaz, chief of the New York Police Department transit bureau, told MTA board members that in at least two stations perpetrators have intentionally jammed MetroCard vending machines. They then opened the security gates with the stolen keys and charged passengers, who have no other recourse, to enter the system. Diaz didn’t specify which stations have been vandalized.

The keys are now widely available for transit personnel as well as for fire and emergency personnel who would need to enter a station in an emergency.

A Daily News reporter obtained the key from a man who says he bought it for $27.

Transit Police say they have arrested 60 people in the past two years for having copied keys.

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