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Did you know that  Metrocards (with little or no cash value) can be maneuvered in such a way that  turnstiles will unlock and allow access to the New York City Transit  system, for free?

We certainly didn't.

The problem with using that method is that it could get you arrested, as Vincent Richardson discovered.

In People v. Richardson , Richardson reportedly approached people at a Grand Central Terminal subway station and, in exchange for a fee, offered to swipe his Metrocard in order to allow them entrance. When he was later arrested, police uncovered three Metrocards "bent in a manner as to allow the holder of said cards to enter the subway system even though there [was] an insufficient fare on said cards to allow entry".

After he was convicted of "criminal possession of a forged instrument in the third degree (Penal Law § 170.20)," and "unlicensed general vending," Richardson appealed to the Appellate Term, First Department, which upheld the convictions.

The AT1 found that the Metrocards  had been "'falsely alter[ed]' so as to constitute 'forged instruments' within the meaning of the forgery statute (see Penal Law §§ 170.00[6], [7], 170.10[4])" and that the verdict of "unlicensed general vending" had also been based on "legally sufficient evidence."

Looks like Mr. Richardson may be remaining pretty stationary for a while.

To download a copy of the Appellate Term's decision, please use this link: People v. Richardson