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Man Accused Of Swiping iPhone From Undercover Cop Aboard 4 Train

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Police said a Brooklyn man with a criminal history was arrested Thursday after he tried to steal an iPhone from a plainclothes officer on the subway.

Authorities said 47-year-old Kasseim Thomas was taken into custody at the Burnside Avenue station in the Bronx after he allegedly swindled the gadget aboard an uptown 4 Train.

Lieutenant Kevin Callaghan of the Manhattan Transit Task Force told 1010 WINS Friday that a group of officers –- including one in plain clothes –- were on the Lexington Avenue line looking for pickpockets in response to previously reported crimes.

Callaghan said Thomas "began to crowd the plainclothes officer" and had a sweatshirt over his hand as he reached into the cop's backpack and removed the iPhone.

Thomas has been arrested 35 times since the 1980s.

"He a habitual offender, who just does his jail time, comes back out and regresses right back to the stuff he knows," Callaghan said.

Police warn that potential victims can avoid being targeted by noticing odd behavior and not flashing expensive electronics and jewelry in public places.

"People are very engrossed in using their iPhone or BlackBerry.  They don't seem to think it's a problem," Callaghan said. "People just have to be cognizant of who's around them and that these valuables are attractive to criminals."

SOUND-OFF: Do you think people need to be more careful with their valuables in public places? Share your thoughts in the comments section...

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