Old 03-13-2000, 01:40 PM
wolfman wolfman is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 10,452
. There was a point brought up to me on the gun control issue years ago, but I wanted to check if it was UL or not before I spread it. Do criminals target people just getting off of planes because they no they can't have a gun. As a specific case, supposedly Florida changed licence plates on rental cars to be indistinguisable because criminals were following people with rental plates out of the Miami airport and attacking them, cause they new they didn't have guns. Anybody know of any hard statistics on this? Thanks

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Old 03-13-2000, 02:01 PM
Thing 1 Thing 1 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 228
There are a number of potential reasons a criminal would target rental cars. A tourist is unlikely to know the area very well so escape would be more difficult. Also there is the possibility of them carrying cash as many travelers still do. I would not assume that rental cars were being targeted because they are less likely to have weapons.


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With a tip of his hat.
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Said the cat.

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Old 03-13-2000, 02:08 PM
Thing 1 Thing 1 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 228
After re-reading your post I reralized I did not answer your question. No, I do not have any stats for you. Sorry,

Old 03-13-2000, 02:22 PM
Glitch Glitch is offline
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 1,500
I do know that Florida had, and perhaps continues to have, a considerable problem of criminals targetting tourists. This isn't unique to Florida (it is very common in Los Angeles, and criminals can spot you in a heartbeat). It is a problem in Florida because they get LOTS of tourists and they rely on tourist dollars.

Anyway, Florida is a good state for releasing law enforcement bulletins about particular problems and trends currently facing the state. However, they do not appear to keep them online. If it is true I am sure you could find out and get stats by contacting the Florida Deptartment of Law Enforcement (http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/index.asp).
Old 03-13-2000, 03:51 PM
Sofa King Sofa King is offline
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Playground of the Damned
Posts: 6,027
This probably doesn't come close, but I'll point you to it anyway:

Crime statistics for MIA, including the cargo area and the direct vicinity of the airport, are the highest of five airports polled -- 25 incidents per 100,000 enplaned passengers, vs. three in Dallas/Fort Worth, five in Fort Lauderdale, 11 in Orlando and 20 at JFK. --from http://www.herald.com/content/archiv...ocs/020599.htm

This seems to be far lower than the incidents for Dade County residents, who are more likely than travelers to be armed. http://southflorida.digitalcity.com/...y/c3ucr001.htm

And here's a briefing that points out that visitors to Florida are actually much less likely to be victims of violent crime than residents(see the section on non-resident crime). That may be an optimistic view, though, because I notice that visitor crime makes up 2-3% of all crime in Florida. And visitors by definition don't stay all that long. http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/FSAC/Pub...itor_crime.asp
Old 03-13-2000, 04:13 PM
InutilisVisEst InutilisVisEst is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 181
Yeah, Florida used to have Z or Y at the start of every rental tag, but discontinued it after a rash of supposedly pre-meditated (i.e., stalked because they were tourists) tourist crimes. I never heard convincing proof that the criminals were stalking rental tags, and have long suspected that changing the tags was a sugar pill to quiet everyone down.

[cynicism][sarcasm]To find out if a rental car or gunlessness was a stalking motivator, you'd need to actually catch a few of these criminals and ask them, eh?[/sarcasm][/cynicism] Sorry, I got battered a bit recently, despite being an armed resident in my own vehicle. Still a little bitter over the perpetrator's continued freedom.

Florida does have a very large population of concealed carry citizens, so I think it's not unreasonable to add gunlessness to Thing1's list of robbable traits that tourists possess in spades.

Sure, I'm all for moderation -- as long as it's not excessive.
Old 03-13-2000, 10:05 PM
sailor sailor is offline
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Location: Washington dc
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Tourists, (with or without cars) are favorite targets everywhere in the world for several reasons. They are more likely to carry important amounts of cash, less likely to defend themselves and much less likely to return to testify in court.

I read some time ago that Hawaii had a very special problem withthis last point as hardly any victims would return to testify and the state started some program where they would pretty much pay for a second vacation there if you would go and testify.

A rental car tag is just one way to spot tourists. In heard in Spain they would target the parked rental cars at night hoping to get the luggage in the trunk.
Old 03-14-2000, 08:18 AM
Crusoe Crusoe is offline
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 7,130
I vaguely remember back in the '80s the British government changed the registration plates on all military vehicles in Northern Ireland and Germany. The IRA had found it easy to spot military personnel off-duty because the cars all had red plates.

"You know you talk so hip man, you're twisting my melon man,"
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Old 03-14-2000, 08:26 AM
C3 C3 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,109
I think that it's faulty logic to say that tourists are targeted because they don't have guns when the tourists also possess more cash, less familiarity with the area, and a lot of times, are less security-conscious than locals are in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

It also amazes me that so many people attribute so much intelligence to criminals. Most of these guys are out there doing what they do because they're drugged-out idiots. They go for the most OBVIOUS easy target, which is someone looking around like they're lost, wearing expensive clothes, and carrying four bags. I really don't think most common criminals are with it enough to analyze which locations have statistically more people with/without concealed weapons.

I'm not anti-gun or anything (although I'm hardly a card-carrying member of the NRA and would never own a gun myself), but I think there are a lot of people just looking for ANY reason to make this country a complete gun free-for-all. Let's have a little common sense, please.
Old 03-14-2000, 08:38 AM
Glitch Glitch is offline
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 1,500
C3: You are correct, and incorrect. Criminals do not analyze trends in a through scientific way, but make no mistake that criminals do "train" each other. In the late 70s a pharmacist was shot dead in Indiana just for the fun of it as the criminal left. The IPA (Indiana Pharmacist Association) offered a large reward for the capture of the felon. The also started arming and training any pharmacist who wanted to be trained. Guess what happened? The felon was sold out by his buddy, and robberies went WAY down on pharmacies in Indiana. In a felon survey (yes, police actually do this), one felon remarked about the situation:

"Are you crazy [concerning robbing a pharmacy]? The pharmacists offer $10,000 reward if you rob them. My mother would sell me out for that kind of money."

There are plenty of other examples taken from felon surveys around the country. They do learn from each other, they know where and who the easy scores are.


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