By Bill Shields

BOSTON (CBS) – This time of year, the clubs and bars around Quincy Market are bustling with activity. So, too, are the criminals, stealing wallets and cell phones from late-night partiers who may be easy targets.

But there’s been a concerning uptick in these crimes lately – seven in the past five weeks alone.

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“It’s aggravated assaults and they all result in the stealing of cell phones or money or wallets,” said Boston Police Officer Frank Ciampa.

“That’s totally out of scale with anything that ever happened before,” said Ken Freed, a resident of Harbor Towers. “And furthermore, we never really had muggings.”

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“Yeah, we’re very concerned about neighborhood safety,” said one resident of Harbor Towers.

But the president of the Wharf District Council sees the muggings every summer. “There was nothing particularly unusual, as far as any of us were concerned,” said Marc Margulies,”about what goes on in the city, during the summertime, when people have been drinking too much.”

Others say the increase in muggings is another chapter of the pandemic.

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But the Boston Police said they’re concerned enough to take a hard look at the area, especially late night.

Bill Shields