With bullets flying over Broadway, New Yorkers are buying up bulletproof vests.
Midtown dealer Brad Pedell — who runs 221B Tactical — claims sales of body armor are up 80 percent this year compared with 2019 due to the “unrest” in the city and nationwide.
“You wouldn’t believe the people who call up and say, ‘I’m scared,’” Pedell told The Post. He said most buyers are from the Bronx and Brooklyn, where shootings have skyrocketed.
Pedell’s customers tend to keep their purchases — and motivations for buying — to themselves.
A Manhattan woman who bought a vest declined to discuss her decision, texting, “I am a private citizen and I keep a low profile.”
A Queens man, who bought one for a family member who works in a crime-ridden Bronx neighborhood, declined to discuss the matter when questioned by a reporter.
Pedell said customers tell him they need the protection because their “neighborhood is getting dangerous.”
Others fear being in “the wrong place at the wrong time” when police and criminals collide, he said.
Among the buyers is “The Amazing Kreskin” — the illusionist who appeared off-Broadway in 2018.
He said he purchased a “high-priced, well-designed” vest from Pedell last year for peace of mind after learning he was being stalked by a crazed fan.
The 85-year-old NJ resident — who claims to have assisted law enforcement in 86 criminal investigations and predicted a young Oprah Winfrey would someday be a superstar — told The Post he would “absolutely” don his vest if he comes to the Big Apple.
“I love the city, but you can no longer feel at home and comfortable with a degree of safety,” Kreskin aid.
“What really hits home is look at all the innocent children who have been shot. Right now I would not feel comfortable living in New York City.”
“People are scared,” said Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan.
“Guns are flying off the shelves and now bullet-resistant vests. Bring back cast iron tubs. That’s where mothers used to put their kids to sleep to deflect the bullets.”
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