Fanny packing: Criminals increasingly stashing guns in tourist staple

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It’s more than just a crime of fashion.

Gun-toting city criminals are strapped in more ways than one these days, increasingly stowing their illegal firearms in unsightly fanny packs, police sources told The Post.

“That’s been a huge thing for about a year, everyone carrying in fanny packs,” said one NYPD insider. “These guys don’t use holsters so the fanny [pack] is probably better than stuffing the gun in your pants.”

Though the frumpy accessory may conjure images of wide-eyed Times Square tourists, they’ve become in vogue among violent criminals, with several sources — and more than a dozen documented cases citywide over the past year — confirming the trend.

Most recently, the unapprehended gunman who last week fatally shot 21-year-old Citi Bike rider Pierrot Simeon at East 53rd Street and Clarkson Avenue in East Flatbush, Brooklyn was caught on camera pulling a piece from a shoulder-worn fanny pack to do the deed at close range.

Donovan Bailey — a reputed teenage Crips member — was also allegedly fanny-packing heat in a shootout at Brooklyn’s pre-Labor Day J’Ouvert festival that left six people wounded, including a 6-year-old boy with a shattered femur.

Cops who busted Bailey after the bloodshed allegedly found a .40-caliber handgun with an extended magazine inside his fanny pack, according to court filings.

Last December in Times Square-adjacent Hell’s Kitchen, a 52-year-old man was blasted in the buttocks by a gunman who, according to police and sources, kept his piece in a fanny pack.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the suspected shooter in that incident had been apprehended.

And last month, again in Brooklyn, ex-con Kahmel Mobley allegedly tried to ditch a fanny pack containing a Bryco Arms semi-automatic pistol when cops busted up a boozy party in Crown Heights, according to authorities.

When a pal spotted the cops coming, Mobley allegedly took off running, throwing the loaded fanny pack under a parked car during a brief foot chase, authorities said.

“F—k it, it is what it is,” he allegedly told cops under questioning, admitting to carrying the handgun. “I’d rather get caught with it than without it.”

That’s an attitude becoming more common on the street, a Bronx cop told The Post last week in the context of a deadly gang war plaguing that borough.

“Everybody is walking around with a gun because they are more afraid of getting shot than getting arrested,” that insider said.

And they’re increasingly choosing to keep those guns in fanny packs, other sources said.

“Fanny packs are an automatic red flag,” said one source. “We obviously can’t stop them for the fanny pack alone, but the anti-crime [and] public safety teams in particular will look for any reason to make a justified stop.”

Two other longtime NYPD investigators, each with more than 20 years on the job, confirmed the trend — but said that it’s actually a throwback from decades gone by, showing that crime, like fashion, is cyclical.

“That’s the way it used to be,” said one of the veterans. “They used to have guns in fanny packs. Now that they know they won’t be stopped, they’re bringing it back.”

The source said that criminals believe stashing their guns in fanny packs gives them an extra layer of protection against police searches, particularly since the decline of stop-and-frisk.

“They know that you can’t stop them,” that source said. “Unless somebody says that they saw them put the firearm in their fanny pack, you have no probable cause to stop them.”

The other insider said that fanny packs were popular makeshift holsters during decades past, and are now having a resurgence.

“In the ’80s and early ’90s, they would wear them,” the source said. “In the winter, they put the guns in their coats. In the summer, they put it in the fanny pack.”

That source said that the packs were also often used to stash drugs and spare ammunition in addition to the guns themselves.

“They don’t have to carry it in their pants when they have a fanny pack,” the source explained. “It’s just unusual to see teenagers and men walking around with fanny packs.

“It’s tourists who do that.”

Additional reporting by Larry Celona

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