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Philadelphia Police Boosting Patrols In Center City Following Rash Of Gunpoint Robberies

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia police are investigating a rash of unsolved gunpoint robberies in Center City, like one from last week that was caught on tape. The disturbing trend comes as businesses prepare to welcome back workers who've been remote due to the pandemic.

Philadelphia police are bringing in officers from other parts of the city to be on patrol in Center City, and the FBI is also stepping in.

"Walking around today, I feel perfectly safe," Alecia Carey, a Philadelphia resident, said.

The rash of recent gunpoint robberies was not on the minds of people in Dilworth Plaza Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm good. I don't know any trouble, so it's fine," said Cory Holden, who's visiting from Dallas, Texas.

But law enforcement is working to get ahead of the troubles. Armed police officers were on patrol in Center City following at least 10 gunpoint robberies in the area in recent weeks.

One of the most recent happened last Tuesday. Surveillance video shows two men being robbed at gunpoint near the Four Seasons Hotel. The suspects got away with both of their Rolex watches.

Police said Tuesday the first gunpoint robbery like this was back on Sept. 30. The attacks are happening around the clock and are targeted.

Despite the attacks, Mayor Jim Kenney says the city is safe.

"You're seeing large groups of people so apparently they're not having those cares," Kenney said. "And police are working very hard to put an end to that activity, and it happens, it's sad to say it happens in other cities and it happens here."

In a virtual update, police say if you fall victim do not fight back.

"Give them what they want," Deputy Police Commissioner Joel Dales said. "Give them what they want. Do not, do not fight with the suspects. Your life is worth more than that."

It's still unclear what role the FBI will be playing in catching these suspects, but until an arrest is made, police are warning you to stay alert.

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