crime

Argentinian town hit by crime wave during police strike

 
The city of Córdoba turned into a lawless Wild West town from days gone by for nearly 24 hours earlier this week, with residents taking up arms to defend themselves against rampaging looters. Police officers were nowhere to be seen, for one simple reason: they had gone on strike. Our Observers were appalled by the police’s inaction. Read more...
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Caught on camera: Sao Paulo police shoots motorbike thief

This striking video illustrates the rampant crime problem in Brazil, as well as its police force’s take-no-prisoners response to it. The scene takes place in eastern Sao Paulo. A motorcycle rider with a camera attached to his helmet captures the moment he is stopped by a young man on a motorbike, who points a gun at his face. Watch the video...

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Wary of walking home alone after dark? Call the Brooklyn Bike Patrol

 
The Brooklyn Bike Patrol is, for lack of a better term, an escort service. Just a dial away, it is a free service made up entirely of volunteers who ride out to meet clients as they arrive at their local subway station, and then escort them safely to their homes. Talk about being a good Samaritan. Read more…
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From ‘flash mob’ to ‘flash rob’

 
A “flash mob” is generally defined as a group of people who suddenly gather in a public arena to stage an act of performance art, briefly interrupting every day routine. In the US however, some young people have put a new twist on the movement, transforming the idea of a flash mob into a “flash rob”. Watch the videos...
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Thugs in their lifetime, worshipped as saints today

 
As Venezuela’s urban crime rate soars, devotion to a very particular group of saints known as the “Santos Malandros” or “Corte Malandra” is becoming widespread. These “holy thugs” wearing dark sunglasses, baseball caps and guns tucked in their belts might have been petty criminals during their lifetime, but are now considered modern-day Robin Hoods. Read more...
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Russia gets its first real-life superhero

 
The Russian Web is abuzz with talk about the country’s first real-life superhero: Mstitel (Avenger in Russian), a masked crime-fighter from the south-western Russian city of Chelyabinsk. Real vigilante, or online hoax? Read more…

Armed looters go on rampage in Abidjan

In Abidjan, the Ivory Coast’s economic capital, terrified residents have been in lockdown since presidential contender Alassane Ouattara’s forces descended on the city on Thursday, March 31.  Our Observer in the western district of Yopougon witnessed scenes of looting that he described as “apocalyptic”. Read more…

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Close-up shot: Police take back Rio gangland

 
Police launched a massive anti-drug raid in the Rio di Janeiro shantytown of Vila Cruzeiro on Thursday, wrapping up five days of violent clashes between police and drug dealers that left at least 25 dead. Our Observers on the ground followed the operation and sent us their accounts, photos and videos. Read more…
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Burglar caught breaking into shop... along with scooter and dog

A burglar caught on security camera breaking into two furniture stores in the French city of La Rochelle was arrested on October 11. An ordinary story…if it weren’t for the robber’s somewhat unorthodox methods, which have made him the laughing stock of the French Web. Read more...

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Can cable cars cut crime in Rio’s favelas?

After trying in vain to bring down the rampant crime rate in Brazil's favelas by imposing a heavy police presence, president Lula da Silva is now taking an entirely different approach. His new plan is to build cable cars. Read more...

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