On Thursday morning we happened to get caught in an L-train shutdown at Third Avenue. We didn't think much of it, as hey, it's the MTA, what are the chances something interesting is going on versus the chances that somebody fell asleep at the switch? But it turns out there is something sensational going on these days in the subway stations around 14th Street. There's a mole mugger. According to the Daily News, a string of purse snatchings has recently plagued the L and 1 lines. Fifty officers (and even a bloodhound) were mustered on Thursday morning to nab the guy, and they almost caught him. Until he disappeared into the tracks!! Because of a murky power struggle between the MTA and cops, they weren't able to stop train service and pursue him. So this could continue. Apparently this was the fourth time the mugger successfully robbed a purse and escaped into the dark, terrifying tunnels under the city. It sounds like something out of an adventure novel, like the “pocketbooks” he’s been “stealing” are actually themselves stolen relics from an Nepalese temple that some nefarious arch-villain is trying to assemble in the hope of conjuring ancient evil spirits to do his bidding. It's almost glamorous. Or it would be, if we didn't see all of the crap that flows in and out of those tunnels when it rains. —Ben Mathis Lilley
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