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NYPD To Create Grand Larceny Unit To Address Identity, Electronics Thefts

FILE - A police car patrols in Brooklyn. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

FILE – A police car patrols in Brooklyn. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The NYPD is creating a grand larceny unit to address one of the fastest growing crimes in the city: identity and electronics thefts.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the 300-member unit will focus on preventing thefts of smart phones, computer tablets and people’s financial resources.

He made the announcement during a speech organized by the conservative think tank, the Manhattan Institute.

Bratton said grand larcenies account for 40 percent of all crimes in the city. He said they make up a majority of the crimes in Manhattan below 125th Street.

Currently, the agency’s financial crimes unit and several other divisions focus on the problems.

“We have to focus resources,” Bratton said during the speech.

The Wall Street Journal said it’s unclear from where the officers will be pulled. Bratton said more details will be unveiled in coming days.

Bratton said he also wants to use predictive policing, where mathematical data is used to estimate where a crime wave is likely to occur.

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