Decoy Cellphones and Armored Cars: How Venezuelans Avoid Being Robbed

Armed robbers knock on windows of cars stuck in traffic and say, “Give me everything.” Men snatch cellphones and jewelry from passing pedestrians. Kidnappers follow people home in their cars at night, and demand ransoms from their families.

Making it safely through the day in Venezeula’s capital, Caracas, one of the world’s most dangerous cities, requires a careful mix of planning and precaution. As the Venezuelan economy has crumbled, rising crime has created what one local group called a “feeling of permanent and silent fear.” Here’s how four middle-class residents told us they try to stay safe.