CROWN HEIGHTS — If you plan to walk down Nostrand Avenue, you might want to pocket your phone.
Cops from across Brooklyn South have been deployed to strategic locations along Nostrand Avenue south of Eastern Parkway, where a spate of mostly youth-on-youth phone snatches looks almost ready to ebb, according to police.
"Nostrand Avenue is the main point they're hitting," Deputy Inspector John Lewis told the 71st Precinct community council meeting last week. "Most of the victims are younger than 20 and most of the perpetrators are between 14 and 20."
Fly-by phone grabs are being replaced by rough school-yard-to-street robberies, while less confrontational criminals turn to ATMs.
"We have a tremendous reduction in the number of phones taken without force, but we're seeing a large increase in identity thefts," Lewis said.
Armed with all kinds of DIY tactics — including checks made with home scanners and basic photo editing software — the areas identity thieves now targeting specific banks with specific crimes.
Shoulder surfers hang out on Utica, while Empire is flooded with crafty thieves banking fake checks.
"Shoulder surfing is not confined to Banco Popular, but that's a problem spot, especially at Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue," Lewis said. "The other type of crime is people's checking accounts being compromised. The bank we're seeing most often is Chase."
It's not just thefts and larcenies that are up on either side of Eastern Parkway. Both the 77th precinct and the 71st precinct have seen an increase in felony assaults as compared with the same period last year.
"We've had lot of success in making arrests," Lewis said, noting that nosy neighbors make safer blocks. "Nostrand Avenue, you see cops all over the place — that's because they're making the calls."