Bed-Stuy residents, what’s the first thing you do when you get on the bus or subway? Is it reach inside your bag, backpack or purse to fish for your mp3 player?
If your answer is “yes,” then likely, by the time you have gotten to your stop, you are fully immersed in the music, moving robotically with the crowd off the bus or train, toward your final destination.
The chaotic monotony of New York City has dulled your senses. You’ve taken this same path dozens – no, scores (maybe even hundreds) – of times before. You know the scenery, where to turn and how long it will take you to get there.
You’re only two blocks away from the final stretch of your destination. The old man who hangs out in front of the deli nods at you and says “good evening,” a produce truck unloads crates into the grocery store, a rat darts out from behind a garbage bag. And then suddenly, something whisks by you -- two bikers – startling you, and you realize you walked right into a bike lane.
You decide to take off your headphones and put them away to pay closer attention to your surroundings, when a baby-faced teen asks you, “Ma’am, do you know what time it is?” You reach back into your bag, pull out your phone and quickly check the time, and just as you look up to answer, you see a flash, then feel a pain to the right side of your head.
You’re on the ground, your head is throbbing, and the contents of your bag are scattered across the sidewalk. You hear the sound of footsteps running away, growing faint. And you realized, your iPhone is gone.
Crime is on the rise in Bed-Stuy, and most of it can be attributed to the dramatic increase in robberies and petty thefts— that is, electronic thefts.
After a ten-year decline in robberies in Bed-Stuy, in both the 79 and 81 precincts, robberies have gone back up, beginning in 2010, 2011 and continuing in 2012. So far this year, robberies are up 13 percent in the 81st Precinct. Robberies are up 55 percent this year in the 79th Precinct, and for the month alone, compared to last month at this same time, robberies are up 120 percent.
Believe it or not, the community can help reduce these numbers if it becomes more aware of its surroundings when walking down the street. Never have your iPhone or any electronic devise visible when walking home.
Take our poll and tell us honestly, what your current habit is for carrying electronics out in the open in the neighborhood.