Crime Related, Orlando
for the most part orlando is a safe place to visit but for the tourist unfamiliar with the area there are high crime areas in orlando that you must be aware of. one of these areas is the parramore section just west of downtown orlando. this area is boardered by I-4 to the east and south, SR50 (w. colonial drive) to the north, US 441 (orange blossom trail) to the west. when visiting downtown do not venture west of I-4 especially after dark. another area that should be avoided is the pine hills section of orlando. locals call the area "crime hills". pine hills is west of downtown orlando between SR50 (w. colonial drive) and clarconna-ocoee road. there is some crime in the tourist areas but if you stay aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your valuables you should not have any problems. because of very good security the major theme parks are virtually crime free. to see crime statistics by orlando neighborhood and zip code see the attached website.
There are some areas in Orlando you best stay out of, unless you have some specific reason for going there, especially at night: generally speaking, the area west of I-4, south of W. Hwy 50, South Orange Blossom Trail near downtown, some areas off West Hwy 50
Also: be carefull at night even in the "touristy areas" on International Drive! Sometimes tourists get robbed there.
the SOBT, US441, (south orange blosson trail) runs through the highest crime areas of orlando. the SOBT is lined with sleazy strip clubs, adult bookstores, bars, and run down motels. the SOBT is a high prositution and drug dealing area that should be avoided any time of the day. the bad section of US441 runs from SR438 (silver star road) to the north and to the orlando city limits to the south. for crime statistics for orlando neighborhoods and zip codes see the attached website.
state road 436 from curry ford road to the south and to SR50, (colonial drive) to the north is called herion alley by orlando locals. this major north-south road from the airport to central orlando is perfectly safe to travel on but the neighborhoods to the east and west of SR 436 are infested with gangs and drug dealers. also late at night people race on this section on 436 which is a safety hazard. you will have no problem if you drive to and from the airport on SR436 as long as you avoid the neighborhoods that boarder this road. for orlando crime statistics by neighborhood and zip code see the attached website.
As a Florida native, I am ashamed of what my state has become. Crime is rampant and out of control in all of our cities. I am a native of Jacksonville, which degenerated from great to bad to horrific in my years there, but now I live in the Central Florida area. Most of the time, crime centers around the drug trade. If you stay clear of that, you still have to worry about the side effects of the trade...robberies, burglaries etc. When in any big city, but especially one that caters to tourists like Orlando, there are specific things to be aware of. Lock your doors at night. Some people don't belive it or not. Do not open your room door to anyone you dont know. Call the front desk and see if they really sent a maid up to your room. Don't wear too much jewelry or show off a big bank roll of cash even in the parks. Some elements here like to mad dog stare at you to start an altercation. Do not stare back, but don't look away either. Develop the "thousand yard stare" and put on your best stone face. Never respond to anything said in passing, certain elements will attack as a squad which you may not see coming. Lock your car in a lighted lot close to your room. If you must go to a restroom in a restaurant or theme park, especially in Universal, let someone with you know or even take back up in the form of another person. This sounds very paranoid but we have a serious predator problem here, cultivated over the last 20 years so anyone under 30 is a potential problem, sad but true. Another rule of thumb...don't trust anyone wearing long "shorts" and wife beater "tshirts" to be civilized. It may be profiling, but when your life depends on reading the signs, do it.
Orlando does a few areas that tourists and new-locals should avoid.
1) Area west of downtown. There is a noticable difference in scenery when you travel west on the downtown roads.
2) Parramore Street. Located immediately west of downtown. This is not a safe area, especially around the stadium.
3) Orange Blosson Trail. The stretch of OBT from Sandlake going north is on the sleezy side with run-dow plazas, "professional ladies" work here at night, trashy motels, etc.
4) Pine Hills. Most in Orlando call it "Crime Hills" for a reason. Located west of Orlando in the area of Hiawasse and Silver Star. If you're there at night...dont stop at any red lights.
Use caution when travelling on S.R 50 east and west.
I moved to Orlando four months ago. I have lived in Brooklyn, and Washington DC, so I am not new to crime-plauged cities. I am shocked at the out of control crime in Orlando. I live in the supposedly "safer" area near the University of Central Florida (UCF). At least once a week I hear gun shots at night. The Publix, Wal Mart, and Starbucks on Alafaya have all been robbed at gunpoint, often in the morning hours in broad daylight. Just yesterday, the news on the TV was that a woman was kidnapped by four guys in an Escalade, stuffed into her trunk, duct taped and driven over toward Goldenrod. She heard them saying they were going to burn the car with her in it before a good Samaritan on a bike chased them off. They still fired some shots into the trunk as they ran away. Luckily she survived unharmed. The scary thing is it was not a big deal on the news...just another day in Orlando. Now lets move on to the not so safe areas....for example Orange Blossom Trail. It is basically the crack and hooker trail. Seedy motels, vagrants, and drug dealers wandering about a trade area extending several miles. Just a few months ago a man was killed in the parking lot of the FedEx Kinkos on OBT. The same FedEx Kinkos was robbed a couple weeks later. I friend of mine was driving down OBT at night when a man jumped in her passanger seat while she was stopped at a red light. She was terrified...the lesson...keep doors locked when driving. Pine Hills...the locals won't even go there...it is known as "Crime Hills". Colonial is dangerous, especially the West side. Low wages at Disney and Universal (7-8 dollars/hour) combined with out-of-control immigration are leading the way to an exploding unskilled population. English is not as widely spoken as you might expect in an American city. It is only a matter of time before more tourists are driven away from Orlando, or God forbid, killed while trying to take a vacation.
Over all I've never had any issues in Orlando since being here approx. 10 years. But I'm origionally from a Detroit Suburb. I'd say be aware of everything when in Pine Hills, which if you're a visitor then usually you wouldn't even be in that area. Also watch for pick pockets in all tourist areas, Disney, Universal Studios, Epcot.. ect.. and watch your children at all times when in these areas too! I consider this all common sense but doesn't hurt to mention it. Orange Blossom Trail is a popular trashy run down road through-out Orlando for the most part. It has the red-light district on it and unless in Kissimmee then I'd be wary of everything. Keep doors locked, car and where ever you're staying, don't leave anything unattended, children, items...
Basically, Orlando can be a fun place to visit and vacation in as long as you are street smart and always stay in pairs or groups of people.
This is't any special warning but while in one of the major theme parks I had my bag stolen, which contained my camera, money, gifts etc. It was probably my fault since I put it down on the floor while sitting on a bench and i should have been more carefull. Just to warn anyone though be carefull when in crowded or busy areas.
Keep your guard up. People on vacation tend not to worry about everyday dangers that they normally do while at home. I know I'm that way...I've caught myself letting my guard down while on vacation. Luckily, nothing bad has ever happened.
A while back, there were several series of armed home invasions here in central Florida. What's a home invasion? Go here to find out. Why is this a danger to a tourist? Most of the homes being invaded were those rented by European tourists here on vacation. The invaders knew which houses were rental properties and specifically targeted them. This type of attack was also perpetrated at well-lit and highly visible areas of some popular hotels and motels. What should you do to protect yourself? The options are many.
Here's a good article that explores the possibilities
Keep your guard up and think about safety and you shall have a great time here. Let your guard down and you may end up wishing you never came here.
My parents were shopping at the Ralph Lauren store in Orlando Premium outlet. The store was very crowded. Somebody cut my mom's handbag and stole her passport (which the criminal thought was a wallet). The people who worked at the Ralph Lauren store simply ignored and did not offer any help at all when my father yelled "HELP". It was a very terrible experience. When we requested to speak to the store manager to ask for help and find out what we should do, the cashiers refused. And the manager never showed up until the police arrived. The sales person even wants us to leave the store before the police arrived. We refused to leave and waited the police. And the smart police searched and found the passport in a hidden rack. It's a horrible experience. There were many hidden camera inside the store. But they refuse to give the recorded video to the police. Pls be aware when u visit this place.
Festival Bay Mall at International Drive
5250 International Dr.
Orlando, FL 32819
My wife and I were in orlando, at the above mentioned mall. We came out after about an hour of shopping to find the driver's window of our s.u.v. smashed and the contents rifled though. I later found out that the mall was in a "not so great" part of town. The cowardly robbers took my digital camera, which they thought was a "TOM TOM" Nav unit. The O.P.D. officer who showed up on the scene told me that because I left the cradle on the windshield, I put up a red flag that apparently read "please break in to my car". He also told me that the mall was a daily cars thieft spot, Nav units are stolen DAILY there.
festival bay security 407-210-2405
We were warned of individuals coming to motel rooms at night pretending to deliver pizza. sure enough, during our recent stay at the Master's Inn just off International Drive in Orlando, this happened to us. Fortunately, we had been pre-warned not to open the door and my husband was able to deter them with some harsh words. Apparently, this is a common tactic among robbers on the International Drive strip.
As you can see Orlando is a very sparse city when it comes to size, scrapers of all shapes and sizes spread around the 'city'. Crime is high in some of the area, though i didn't really witness anything.
I moved out of Orlando due to the high, senseless crimes, not to mention the traffic. I dare you to walk out of your hotel/home/condo/apartment after dark. Don't even consider using an ATM during the late hours, I wouldn't even use it during the daylight hours. You stopped at a yellow light? How dare you! The driver behind you is in a hurry, therefore he will either ram your car or pull out his handgun and kill you. Are you bringing your young children to the parks? Sexual Predators are numerous, they will find your daughter, they love little girls. Don't be surprised if your sleeping child has been taken right out of their hotel bed in the wee hours of the morning. Heading to one of the retail shopping areas? Oh, they will kill you there too and take your car and your money, perhaps even you wife or daughter, and they don't care that you have your 6 month old strapped in a carseat in the back seat, they'll still take your minivan. A Magical place no longer. If you tip the United States on it's side, all the sludge ends up in Florida. Watch an episode of 48 hours, I guarentee the person who is being charged with murder is associated with The Sunshine State. Sad, very sad....