On the mean streets of the gritty city, nothing is as it seems. The welcoming avenues of beautiful Brooklyn host a barely-concealed ecosystem of predators, ready to attack any sign of weakness. The Brooklyn Paper's police blotter offers us the grimmest of lessons, that we may not need to learn the hard way.

Imagine, if you will, strolling down Bushwick Avenue late one evening. You're unsure of the lay of the land. What terrors await in the shadows? You consult your iPhone, but it holds no answers. Hark! A friendly emissary approaches:

The man was near Boerum Street at 10:45 pm when the stranger approached, he told police.

"This area is safe," the liar told the victim, but then picked him up, threw him to the ground, and took his iPhone before running off, police reported.

Is no level of deception too devious for these criminals?

[Brooklyn Paper. Photo: A Guy in Brooklyn/ Flickr]