THE BRONX - Police are stepping up patrols in Bronxwood due to an alarming spike in young girls robbing other females.

According to students at Columbus High School, packs of girls are not only stealing possessions from their peers, but also assaulting them in the process.

The 49th Precinct says it has arrested 13 girls between the ages of 13 and 16 for robberies between Sept. 15 and Nov. 1. Officers say they will keep up the extra patrols at least through the end of the year.

Joe Thompson, the precinct's community council president, says there are plenty of anti-crime programs for boys, but girls have been neglected for years.