Warning to those driving


#1

I know many of you like to drive your own cars. I want to extend a warning to you. If you like to stop to shop, dine, or gas up, please be extremely careful if you are near the intersection of I-4 and 27.

Some people who came in to town to work on the same event that we are working on have been robbed. They have been staying or shopping in that area.

One guy was going to walk into the McDonalds. As he approached the door, he pulled out his wallet to check his cash. A guy came over to him by the door and grabbed his hand with the wallet in it. When the guy began to struggle for his wallet, the criminal pulled out a gun and held it to his forehead.

The guy had training of some sort and was able to get the gun away from the criminal, but dropped his wallet in the process and the criminal grabbed the gun and wallet and ran. He got away. This was at 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon.

The second incident happened to one of the guys staying at a hotel near-by. His rental car window was smashed and his GPS, cell phone, and Sirius radio were stolen from the car. That was some time in the early a.m.

The police told him that if you even look like a tourist you are a target and they have had many such crimes lately.

So, please be extra careful if you decide to stop. We all think WDW is magical, and it is, once you get through the gates.

I have to admit, as we are staying in the area and have made several trips to the Wal*Mart on 27, I have seen some shady characters hanging out there. Not shopping, just hanging out in the parking lot and in front of the store.

So just try to be aware and stay safe.


#2

Thanks for the heads up. I’ll be driving down in the next few weeks. Is that in the Florida area?


#3

Lots of this kind of stuff is going around. There have been many wallet snatching instances recently here, and I know the last two times I was at the grocery store, there were police on site, due to “issues.” Everybody needs to stay vigilant, no matter where they are right now.


#4

Yes, it about 15 miles from WDW.


#5

Great reminder, especially this time of year too. Some criminals love to steal holiday gifts and like to attack shoppers.


#6

Very good advise. We had a slight incident while at a gas station just across the Florida state line. Nothing major, just a drunken homeless guy came up to me as I was putting gas in the van. He was not a threat but he would not leave and I had to pretty much close the door and drive off otherwise he might have tried to get into the van with us (He was being a little pushy). I felt bad for him and said a little prayer for his well being. The kids were asking if I knew that man and they were a little shaken up. I understand this could happen anywhere at anytime to anyone. You just need to be careful.
We spent an evening off Disney property to eat at Chilis and to stop and get donuts. There were some rather questionable people in the parking lot just hanging out. Maybe I was just paranoid after the gas station incident but, it still made my wife and I a little uneasy.


#7

Our last trip was different than all the others in that I for the first time had a ‘bad feeling’ about being out shopping at Walmart. Now, keep inmind that I’ve been down there more than 8 times, in differnet circumstances, heck I even spent one trip staying at the Hostel on 192 when I traveled there alone to look at real estate in '03! Shared the room with 3 strangers and my only concern was catching a cold or virus from the girl sleeping below me (she coughed all night).

Nope, this time the hair on the back of my neck stood up, DESPITE the fact taht I was with my adult sons (both are big BIG boys) and as well as my grown girls. I couldn’t get from that Walmart on 192 (near John Young Parkway) back to Terra Verde fast enough.


#8

The surrounding areas around Disney are a little on the shady side! I ALWAYS gas up at the Hess on Property . . . and would NEVER travel outside of WDW property for anything.

I’ve heard lots of stories like these . . . some even from the parking lot of DTD!


#9

thanks for the info.

will be sure to gas up before we get too close into Orlando. we don’t drive the car anywhere after we arrive…but will be sure to have a full tank, or at least enough gas in it to get a good ways out of Orlando before we make a stop on the way home.


#10

Thanks for the tips! I will be driving down in a few weeks. I guess its time to put the hot sauce in my pocketbook lol…


#11

We won’t be driving down, but we’ll be doing some grocery shopping once we’re there…what other stores are at this intersection so I know what to tell the folks?


#12

Thanks for all the info, we leave this afternoon as soon as DS gets off the bus. We’re headed to Daytona first and I’m pretty paraniod about that. The hotel only allows 1 car, which will be our because my parents will have a rental and leave nothing in it. I think we’ll do the same and just bring everything into the hotel with us.
Say a prayer and send pixie dust for us please.
DH thinks he is the big male protector (and he is) but DW, me, will still be scared. He never had any special training:ph34r: or anything but don’t tell him that.:wink:


#13

My dad is the same way, but he’s not even really that tall, he’s like 5’6" or something. I mean give him his powertools and I guess he’d do okay, but they don’t allow those on planes. :laugh:

Have a great time, Gem!! I’m sorry we couldn’t work out somethin for meeting!


#14

192 in general is shady and getting shadier! I don’t know that I would take any precautions other than normal ones:
Don’t leave a cell phone or purse in the car when you get out
Lock your Doors
Park Under a Light if it is Dark Out
Common Sense Stuff that we should be doing anyways

I lived in a development just behind the Walmart on 192 for a year and never had a problem in the area, but it is a crime area! Just be cautious and you will be fine.

BTW, the area Timkel is talking about is on the AK side of Disney. I’m not sure if you are familiar with the Orange Lake Resort but its near that.


#15

OK, there is a new shopping center with a Target and a Best Buy I think. Mostly there are gas stations, hotels, and 2 campgrounds. I think there are a few fast food places as well.

My DH told me last night that the police officer told the guy that there have been around 800 police reports filed from crimes in that area since Jan.


#16

[QUOTE=alilmagical32;908163]192 in general is shady and getting shadier! I don’t know that I would take any precautions other than normal ones:
Don’t leave a cell phone or purse in the car when you get out
Lock your Doors
Park Under a Light if it is Dark Out
Common Sense Stuff that we should be doing anyways

I lived in a development just behind the Walmart on 192 for a year and never had a problem in the area, but it is a crime area! Just be cautious and you will be fine.

BTW, the area Timkel is talking about is on the AK side of Disney. I’m not sure if you are familiar with the Orange Lake Resort but its near that.[/QUOTE]

Wow. These are desperate times. I can see why some criminals would think of the area around WDW as good pickings. People come from all over the country, even the world, with tons of money in their pockets.

But we just stayed in that western end of 192 area a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t notice anything unusual. There are some lovely homes in there. Splendid China area?

Oh, the other thing I wanted to add from some incidents around here, is the criminals are grabbing cellphones right out of people’s hands. Even as they walk in the crow3ded shopping malls. A person talking on the phone is a distracted person and an easy target!


#17

There is “The Loop” lots of shopping! When we come in to WDW we come via Osceola Parkway.

The Loop Kissimmee: Orlando RetailGuide Mall Profile


#18

Sounds like they need to take some of our tax money that we poor into that economy and beef up the local security force. There is no excuse for this type of crime and it can be prevented with enough manpower. Disneyland suffered a major decline for the same problems and hopefully the local officials will remember history and learn from it.


#19

[QUOTE=mickeysgirlz;908315]There is “The Loop” lots of shopping! When we come in to WDW we come via Osceola Parkway.

The Loop Kissimmee: Orlando RetailGuide Mall Profile[/QUOTE]

This is a better area. If you want to go shopping I would reccomend it. I’m not saying dont be cautious, but its better than 192!


#20

One other bit of helpful advice…

Never leave your GPS docking system up AND wipe away any little circle mark that is left from the suction cup, if you have one. Your more “seasoned” thieves look for these as better targets to bust into for top-notch goodies.