Police find hidden video cameras on LIRR ticket machines

A commuter uses a ticket machine at a

A commuter uses a ticket machine at a LIRR station. (Credit: Ed Betz)

Police are investigating an apparent credit and debit card scam involving tiny video cameras hidden on Long Island Rail Road ticket vending machines.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department first learned of the scam after a customer found one of the small video cameras on the floor -- having apparently fallen off a ticket vending machine.

Authorities went on to find hidden cameras attached to seven machines at four LIRR stations: Bayside and Great Neck on the Port Washington branch, Merillon Avenue on the Huntington/Port Jefferson branch, and Greenvale on the Oyster Bay branch.


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Police Friday were continuing to inspect all of the LIRR's more than 200 ticket machines at 124 stations. MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said that, as of Friday night, all but 14 machines had been checked, and no additional cameras had been found.

MTA Police Chief Michael Coan said the cameras, mounted on a small, black metal strip attached with an adhesive, were made to look like they were part of the ticket vending machines.

"We have no report from any customer of this thing actually working and them losing money, but it's too soon to say how long these might have been in place or how widespread it was," Lisberg said.

Coan urged any LIRR customer who has purchased a train ticket from a machine to check with their bank or credit card company for any unauthorized activity.

In late 2011 and early 2012, a string of similar skimming thefts at ATMs on Long Island and in Manhattan netted losses totaling more than $1.75 million, authorities said.

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