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CRIME IN YBOR CITY is an unfortunate fact of life. However, statistics indicate that criminal activity has diminished considerably in the recent past. Police patrol the area diligently and even bring out their mounted police on some occassions. Do not try to pet the horses, please. They are super well trained and behaved but they are *big* working animals and you don't want to distract them or be in the way when there's a call for them to move.
In June 2005, undercover Tampa Police successfully intervened when several criminals were attempting to rob two out of town tourists in a dark parking lot. The police shot four suspects, killing one. Also in June 2005, a man was stabbed to death inside the Masquerade nightclub during an argument. However, murders have been reduced. There have been only seven murders in central Ybor City since 2001, contrasted with the fact that there were eight murders in the same area in 1999 and 2000 alone.
Other types of crime are also down. Simple assaults are down 19 percent from 2001; robberies are down 25 percent from 2000; larcenies are down 20 percent from 1999; and auto thefts and break-ins are down a whopping 52.5 percent from 2002. Tampa Police report that there were 1,203 violent crimes and larcenies in Ybor City, which is a reduction from the average of 1,702 in each of the previous five years. Even so, that number is greater that the incidence of crime in International Plaza, Channelside and Hyde Park combined.
Please be aware of your surroundings at all times in Ybor, especially in the parking areas off of 7th avenue (the main street.) Don't wear flashy jewelry or obviously expensive handbags. Have your keys in your hand before you reach your parking lot and lock your door the moment you get into your car and adjust your radio or do whatever once you have driven off. Odds are no one will ever bother you but it's better safe than sorry. Try to park your car beneath a street light if possible. The parking lot attendants are there to collect your money not to watch your car so don't expect your belongings to be there when you return if you leave them in plain view.
Inside the clubs and bars don't flash your cash around and watch your wallet. Even better, take your cash, keys, your credit/debit card and your id with you, leaving your wallet at home if you can. There are ATMS all over Ybor, watch your back when you are at one so no one can see your PIN or how much cash you withdraw.