Brazil’s capital asks for help to fight violence

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) – Public security authorities in Brazil’s capital city of Brasilia have asked for help from federal police to fight a wave of violent crime that is alarming residents.

The head of the federal public security department, Regina Mikki, says 100 federal officers will patrol for the next three months on the border between Brasilia and the neighboring state of Goias. She says police believe criminals behind a surge in car thefts and robberies are escaping to Goias.

Robberies known as “flash kidnappings” have risen sharply. In these cases, victims are held at gunpoint and forced to withdraw money from cash machines. In the first three months of this year, Brasilia police recorded 463 of these crimes. That is a nearly 36 percent increase over the same period in 2011.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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