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Cop cardboard cutout used to cut crime at Massachusetts transportation hub

Cop.jpg

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

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.

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