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.

Check Out These Other Stories From

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More From CBS New York

Download Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE