OCEAN CITY, Md. - When you think of dangerous places in Maryland, do you think of Thrashers Fries and a walk on the boardwalk?
Well a real estate firm – the California-based Movoto – does. They say Ocean City is a dangerous place to be, according to them it's the most dangerous place in Maryland
However, Ocean City Police chief Ross Buzzuro says the numbers are inaccurate.
Buzzuro said although the real estate company uses official uniform crime reports from the FBI, they didn't factor in Ocean City's true population.
We've all seen pictures of Ocean City in the summer where the boardwalks are crowded and the beaches are full. In reality, an empty boardwalk and beach is what it looks like most of the year.
“The report didn't take into account our visitor population,” Buzzuro said. “It only took into account our resident population. Our resident population is just over 7,000 , our visitor population is about 8 million persons annually.
“Our population swells to about 300,000 on any giving weekend during the summer months. We are unique in that regard. No other city is like us in Maryland.”
Movoto used the permanent residents, which totals just more than 7,000 and then came up with a statistic that 1 in every 5 people will be a victim of crime. Buzzuro says if you take into account the actual number of people in Ocean City year-round you have a 1 in 103 will be a crime victim not 1 in 5.
Some visitors don't buy the report that Ocean City is more dangerous than Baltimore City.
“It's a family place,” said Marilyn Gilliece, of Ellicott City. “You bring your family down here for fun. Downtown you wouldn't take your kids to walk around in the night, around here you can walk around the boardwalk until midnight.”
Courtney Jarvis, also of Ellicott City, added: “I think it's easy to make numbers say anything you want them to say.”
Buzzuro says in fact Ocean City is safe and even getting better.
“Crime was down 13 percent in 2013,” he said. “It's unfortunate when we are starting our season, we want everyone to know we are a very safe town.”