A new unit of 300 New York police officers will focus on preventing identity and high-end electronics thefts, some of the fastest-growing crimes in the city, Commissioner William Bratton said yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reports. The grand larceny unit officers will handle a wide range of crimes, such as thefts of smartphones, computer tablets and people’s financial resources. It is unclear where those officers will be pulled from. “We have to focus resources,” Bratton said during a speech sponsored by the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank.
Identity theft or the loss of a phone, “whether rich or poor, the inconvenience in your life, the disruption in your life, is something that increasingly local policing must engage in,” Bratton said. Grand larcenies—when an item that could be valued at more than $1,000 is stolen—now account for 40 percent of all crimes in the city. Historically, the crime has decreased significantly. There were 45,368 grand larceny complaints in 2013, compared with 85,737 from 1993—a decrease of about 47 percent.