CROWN HEIGHTS - The 71st Precinct is hoping that increased foot patrols will help deter cell phone robberies in Crown Heights.

Police sources say exposed smartphones in Crown Heights have led to a major increase in grand larceny. So far in 2012, the 71st Precinct has almost 500 reports of grand larceny, up almost 65 percent from the same time last year. Police say people are most vulnerable when exiting a bus or a subway station.

News 12 Brooklyn was told that Utica Avenue near Eastern Parkway is a major hot spot for the thefts because of all the public transportation.