Real-life 'Miami Vice' alarms Florida tourists
Wednesday 07 April 1993
Florida's dolce vita image has long been spiced by a dash of Miami Vice. But the robbery and murder of Barbara Meller from Germany on Friday has turned television glamour into something akin to panic among visitors to America's most popular tourist destination.
Like thousands of people every year, Mrs Meller and her family were heading in a rented car from the airport to the oceanside resort of Miami Beach. But after losing her way she found herself in an inner city neighbourhood. Another car bumped into her. When she got out to inspect the damage, she was robbed, beaten and finally crushed to death as her assailants drove over her body to make their escape.
As the Miami authorities prepared special measures to protect tourists, the Florida Governor, Lawton Chiles, yesterday summoned a first meeting of a Governor's Task force on Crime and Tourism, and appealed for federal assistance to help tackle the violence.
Among the first moves, almost certainly, will be an end to Florida's system of special number plates on rented cars, which make potential targets so easy for criminals to identify. The Miami municipality, meanwhile, is installing new road signs to direct tourists to the city's main attractions, and setting up scores of information centres in fast food outlets and elsewhere.
Since early December three Germans, two Canadians and a Venezuelan had been killed while visiting Florida, before Mrs Meller's murder. Klaus Sommer, the German Consul in Miami, said that of the 300,000 German tourists to Florida in the last year, 1,200 reported being victim of some form of crime. Despite the latest alarms, there is not much sign of an end to the violence. Hours after Mr Chiles's appeal, three Danish women in a hired car were robbed, although the alleged attacker was speedily arrested.
- 1 Cara Delevigne addresses awkward interview on Good Day Sacramento
- 2 Model's video shoot on the beach interrupted by sudden landing of a group of illegal migrants
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
- 5 Living in Spain and commuting to London 'cheaper than actually working in London'
Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
Israel accused of killing 75 children during day of 'carnage' and war crimes in Gaza war
Australia to impose 24-hour curfew on all cats to protect endangered species
Walter Palmer: Cecil the lion killer revealed to be American dentist
MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains
£30 to £32k : Guru Careers: We are seeking a Trainer / IT Trainer to join an a...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This privately owned Fencing Co...
£17000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you answer yes, this company...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This world leader in Online Pro...