Locals, not tourists, causing majority of Spring Break trouble in Miami Beach

Spring Break in Miami Beach is a mix of first timers and annual regulars, but its locals causing the most problems for police.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Spring Break in Miami Beach is a mix of first timers and annual regulars.

The tourist attraction by day has been overwhelmed by night, even with aa special police presence to try and help keep things as calm as possible.

City leaders who have been trying for years to get Spring Break off South Beach may seem focused on visitors from out of town, but statistics show that locals may be the most to blame.

For example, the 19-year-old arrested on Monday is from Hialeah. The Smith & Wesson with an altered serial number he reportedly ditched is among the 37 weapons seized in just the past few days.

“Certainly, the guns that are here didn’t come on an airplane, so we know much of the worse conduct is coming from people who live somewhere near South Florida,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.

According to Miami Beach police, since Spring Break enforcement started on Feb. 18 more than half the citywide arrests are people who live locally in Miami-Dade County, causeway crossers, not Spring Break tourists.

The numbers are on track to match Spring Break from 2021. Of the 636 arrests in the South Beach Entertainment District, 508 were locals.

Also, more than 100 weapons have been seized.

“You can’t balance the money you’re getting from visitors and resort taxes with public safety, so we’re always going to err on the side of being safer than not,” Gelber said.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."