Several street robberies, some involving victims as young as 10, have been reported to Beds Police in the past fortnight, and detectives are warning people to be extra careful.
Gangs of men have approached victims, often children and teenagers, threatening and assaulting them before stealing mobile phones, cash and bikes.
The incidents have happened at all times of day and night across the town.
Det Con Rebecca Kitts said: “I would remind people to be extra vigilant when they are out and about during the summer and to use crime reduction advice to keep themselves and their property safe.”
A 10-year-old boy was chased and attacked by a group of teenage robbers near Wigmore School as he cycled home from Wigmore Valley skate park with his friend at about 6.30pm on July 30.
Three teenagers, also on pushbikes, followed the pair along several alleys until they became separated.
Alone, the victim was cornered by the group who pushed him around and asked what he had in his pockets.
His pockets were empty and eventually he managed to escape.
The offenders then caught up with his friend in an alleyway between Falstone Green and Crawley Green Road, threatened him and then left the scene empty-handed.
In a separate incident, an 11-year-old was approached by a man in People’s Park on July 28, and the man threatened him before taking his push bike and leaving the scene with four other men.
On August 4, a 20-year-old was hit around the head with his own skateboard during a robbery in Bretts Mead in Farley Hill at 1am.
Three men approached him, assaulted him and took his wallet and Apple iPhone 4 mobile phone before the victim managed to escape.
In an incident on July 31, an 18-year-old was waiting for friends in an alley off Francis Street at 12.01am when a group of five men pushed him against a wall, threatened him, searched his pockets and stole his Apple iPhone 5.
On August 7, a 22-year-old man was walking home at about 10.15pm in Meyrick Avenue when a man on a bike cycled past and snatched his phone from his hands.