"Since the late 1980s, Caracas’ crime levels have increased along with the city’s rapidly growing population. Except for Chacao, Las Mercedes, Altamira and to some extent Parque Central, the rest of the city is considered a zona roja, a high-crime area where assaults are commonplace and police protection is minimal. In particular, locals warn you to avoid the centro (center) and Sabana Grande after hours. Past 9pm or 10pm at night, the streets in those zones tend to clear out, creating the sense of a de facto curfew.
Caraqueños will invariably warn you of these dangers, leaving visitors quaking with fear at the prospect of moving about the city. While such warnings should not be ignored, they also tend to reinforce the paranoiac atmosphere of the place. Like any large, chaotic city, Caracas has its hazards, but that should not deter you from exploring.
Taking certain precautions will greatly reduce any risks. Try not to look like a tourist, for example by wearing jeans instead of shorts. After dark keep off deserted streets and stick with groups of people. The best approach is to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
Some Caracas residents say the police are more of a threat than muggers and advise you not to ask them for any sort of assistance. Police have also been known to harass foreigners about not carrying a passport as a means of extracting a bribe, so take along a copy when you go out.
Perhaps more than street crime, traffic in Caracas is a persistent danger, especially for those on foot. Many intersections are impossible to cross safely. Never assume you have the right of way in any crossing situation. Drivers cannot be trusted to stop at red lights – it is always safer to look for a break in traffic before crossing, preferably with other pedestrians. Motorcycle taxis zip along sidewalks or against the flow of traffic to circumnavigate jams; you never know where they’re coming from. Asphyxiating fumes and incessant horn honking by gridlocked vehicles are additional annoyances."
“There have been cases of passengers being robbed at gunpoint by bogus taxi-drivers at Caracas airport (Maiquetia) and being “express kidnapped”(see Crime section). You are advised not to board a taxi if there are other passengers already inside the car. Do not accept offers of transport in the arrivals hall.”
“There have been several instances of travellers being overcharged when paying airport tax for both international flights and internal flights within Venezuela”
“When taking a taxi in Caracas or other towns/cities, it is advisable to use only pre-booked taxis rather than hailing them in the street.”
“The embassy has received frequent reports of armed robberies in taxicabs going to and from the airport at Maiquetía. There is no foolproof method of knowing whether a taxi driver at the airport is reliable. The fact that a taxi driver presents a credential or drives an automobile with official taxi license plates marked libre is no longer an indication of reliability.”
"Violent crime in Venezuela is pervasive, both in the capital, Caracas, and in the interior. The country’s overall per capita murder rate is cited as one of the top five in the world. The Venezuelan National Counter Kidnapping Commission was created in 2006, and since then, official statistics have shown alarming increases in reported kidnappings throughout the country. In fact, kidnappings in 2009 have increased anywhere from 40-60 percent from the previous year. Surveys show that the overwhelming majority of kidnappings and other major crimes are not reported to the police. Armed robberies take place throughout the city, including areas generally presumed safe and frequented by tourists. Well-armed criminal gangs operate widely, often setting up fake police checkpoints. Only a very small percentage of crimes result in trials and convictions."
"The embassy has also received multiple, credible reports of victims of “express kidnappings” occurring at the airport, in which individuals are taken to make purchases or to withdraw as much money as possible from ATMs, often at gunpoint."