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Study: Crime Risk Higher Near Airports, Central Train Stations

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DFW AIRPORT (CBSDFW.COM) – A USA Today-sponsored study of national crime trends concluded Americans are more likely to be a crime victim near airports or rail terminals than on the average street corner.

The study, released Tuesday, found on average that neighborhoods near airports were four times more dangerous for all forms of reported crimes. In article regarding the findings, USA Today reporter Gary Stoller writes that the study was performed by the crime-forecasting company CAP.

The CAP Index “uses statistics, demographics and computer modeling to determine the likelihood of crime,” reads Stoller’s article.

The worst was Philadelphia International Airport. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was 22nd on the list, saying the odds were 2.63 times greater than the national average.

It also reported train terminals are magnets for crime, and put Dallas Union Station at more than seven times the national risk.

But Josh Bergerhouse, general manager of the nearby Founder’s Grill disagrees, saying, “I wouldn’t let my guard down in any city but it’s fairly safe down here.”

His primary complaints are homeless people who sometimes hassle customers, along with auto break-ins, including his own car. But violent crime? No, Bergerhouse says.

“Physical crime I haven’t seen a lot of, I haven’t seen, actually none,” he said. “In the last three-and-a-half years I haven’t seen any physical crime.”

The study’s authors call the news a wakeup call to pleasure travelers who tend to let their guard down during vacations and holiday trips. The researchers also say the crimes tend to trend higher because airports and train terminals tend to exist near aging neighborhoods with infrastructure issues and lower income residents.

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, though, is larger than the island of Manhattan and its neighbors are in different cities.

Irving and Grapevine, for instance, say the only measurable airport crime is an occasional wave of car break-ins. Dallas police didn’t want to talk about the study, saying they don’t understand how it measured its numbers. Fort Worth police haven’t responded to questions requesting comment.

Tracy Paul has been traveling for ten years. Staying just outside Dallas Love Field, he said he tries to be aware of the area he’s in.

“I just really take precautions and look at my surroundings,” he said. “If it doesn’t look safe or run down, I try to avoid those kind of places.”

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