A startling spike in armed street robberies is striking every corner of Boston, with victims facing knife and gun-wielding thieves in even the toniest neighborhoods, the Boston Herald reports. During the first five days of the year, there were 34 robberies or attempted robberies, a 21 percent spike over the same period in 2004, when there were 28. This week alone, there have been more than a dozen armed street robberies. Even upscale neighborhoods like historic Beacon Hill and the trendy South End and Back Bay have a share of the crimes.
Police have responded with a massive crackdown involving undercover cops, street sweeps, and sting operations. “We are out there in full force to prevent these crimes,” said police Deputy Superintendent Darrin Greeley. “These are cowardly crimes.” The attacks are random and increasingly violent. Uundercover cops are posing as targets to lure robbers. Cops are monitoring convicted robbers recently released from jail. Surveillance vans are set up on streets where high numbers of muggings have occurred.