Well, there's certainly nothing like the real thing. But here's a story about how it's been an effective deterrent. The Associated Press reports that the big burly officer watching the bicycle racks at a Boston-area transportation hub is a cardboard cutout placed where hundreds of people park their bikes then use mass transit. It's a money-saver of course, but it's main purpose is  to create that split-second where would-be thieves glance at the cutout, just enough to discourage them. That and cameras, but hey, they can boast that thefts are down by 67 percent! I've always thought a batch of fake patrol cars out on the highways wouldn't be a bad idea. Obviously Boston's burly Officer Cardboard is doing his job and every little bit helps! DB