Last month a Port Authority cop filed paperwork stating that a traveler at JFK airport was a victim of a petit larceny after his $700 Dell laptop was "taken while he was checking in for his flight" at Cathay Pacific Airlines. But the cop's captain slapped a Post-it onto the report demanding this correction: "Although we can assume the laptop was stolen, probable cause is not articulated [on the form] to sustain a larceny. Make this a lost property." And the Post reports that this is part of a larger trend to make the airport seem less crime-ridden.

"Their position is that if a [victim] does not see his property being taken, then he does not have knowledge of a theft and hence, it's a 'lost property,' " one source tells the tabloid. The article cites a dozen police reports that were reclassified as "lost property" incidents, including a report filed after UES resident Kaya Tileu alleged that his wallet, which itself was worth $200, was stolen from a JFK McDonald's, with $300 inside. But the captain's Post-it note declared, "This is a lost property." And it's not pickpocketing, either; it's just "self-motivated finding."

But one spokesperson for the Port Authority tells us the Post's article is wildly misleading, and points out that the number of lost property reports have been static at JFK in recent years. "How are they converting all these larcenies into lost properties when the number of lost properties hasn't gone up? What's happening here is that the captain is trying to educate his cops who are filing reports that don't support the charge. When you write the report and put it down as larceny, you also write a narrative with witness statements and other details, and that has to support a larceny classification. And if these initial reports aren't done correctly with the appropriate amount of detail, this is where things get blown up if the case goes to prosecution.

"These cops are acting like children [leaking to the Post] because they can't handle correction from a superior officer. What this is about is the PBA is out of contract right now so they're throwing every little thing at us to make us look dopey. But they're running the risk of making themselves look dopey."