By Kimberly Davis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Just in time for a new school year, there is a growing alert after what has been an alarming spree of robberies. Philadelphia police are on the hunt for two men who have been approaching residents at night either asking for the time or a lighter.

Sources tell Eyewitness News that is just a distraction before the men attempt to make someone their next robbery victim.

READ MORE: Delaware County Investigators Zeroing In On Person Of Interest In 32-Year-Old Cold Case Murder Of Tyra Waiters

Police Searching For Suspect Who Allegedly Threw Molotov Cocktail Into Northeast Philadelphia Home

“I’m coming to you today with a public service announcement in regards to a recent trend of strong armed robberies,” the Philadelphia Police Department said in a video released on Monday.

Between 46th Street and Baltimore Avenue — as well as 46th and Market Streets — police say they are seeing an uptick in the amount of strong armed robberies.

Residents say they are on high alert.

“I don’t feel great about it. Definitely not going to tell my mom about this,” Emily Byers said.

READ MORE: Philadelphia's Mayor, Police Commissioner Host Town Hall To Address Rise In Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

She says she usually walks her dog at night and will be taking extra precautions.

‘Prayed We Wouldn’t Get Shot’: Mother Of 3 Recalls Nearly Being Caught In Crossfire Of Police Shootout In Nicetown-Tioga

“We do short walks at night. We stay close to home at night, we don’t go too far. Or we go out with someone else. We try not to go out alone,” Byers said.

Police say the robbers are men in their early 20s and they strike anywhere from 9:30 p.m. into the overnight hours.

Other longtime residents say they have adapted to the environment.

“At night, in particular, you’re more conscious when people approach you, and you try to keep lights on outside,” Daniel Deudney said.

Residents say they will continue to stay vigilant as police search for the culprits.

More Charges Likely In Nicetown-Tioga Police Shootout That Injured 6 Officers, DA Larry Krasner Says

“We’re grateful for the police and the various policing activities that goes on. People think that’s a big plus, I think, overall,” Deudney said.

MORE NEWS: Police Searching For Suspect Accused Of Assaulting Bala Cynwyd 7-Eleven Worker

Residents tell Eyewitness News the lights are out in the areas where people have been robbed and they are hoping once the bulbs are replaced, the robberies will stop.

Kimberly Davis