In recent months, an old crime has started to reappear in some Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant: a spate of muggings that has caught some in the neighborhood by surprise. People walking or biking alone have been attacked with punches, kicks – and in one case, a baseball bat – and then had their cellphones or purses stolen before they could recover, reports the New York Times.
The head of security at Pratt Institute, whose campus is in the neighborhood, said that at least six students had been mugged since April. The 88th Precinct, which covers Clinton Hill, has recorded a 26 percent increase in robberies so far this year, from 99 in 2007 to 125, for the period ending on June 29. Robberies are defined as the forcible taking of property from a person. The muggings have become the subject of uneasy talk among residents. Councilwoman Letitia James, who lives in Clinton Hill, has been fielding some of their calls. “People are feeling less secure in the brownstone belt,” she said.