A plastic handcuff key that could free a felon in seconds could be yours for just $10.50.
That’s the cost of the “Covert Hide Out Handcuff Key” for sale on Amazon.com that can be covertly attached to a zipper in case it’s needed in a tight spot or to escape the long arm of the law. NYPD officers were warned to exercise extra caution when transporting handcuffed prisoners in an internal memo issued on May 23, the New York Daily News reports.
“This handcuff universal key will be there for you when you need it most,” reads the description on Amazon. “Since the key is attached to its cord, it will not become lost even during the most demanding situations.”
Law enforcement experts told the newspaper that the plastic keys are particularly alarming because they can pass through metal detectors, potentially allowing prisoners to escape from all forms of custody, including jails, courthouses or during transport.
Al Nasseri, a manager at Uniform Warehouse, a distributor of law enforcement equipment, told the newspaper he was unaware of the universal plastic keys, but wondered about the wisdom of selling them.
“It must be a new fad,” said Nasseri. “It’s scary, it really is. I hope they’re looking into it.”
Amazon officials didn’t respond to requests for comment, the newspaper reports.
An NYPD source told the newspaper that no officers have recovered the plastic key as of yet, but an officer tipped off police brass after spotting it online.