|For the myth in GTA III, see Street Criminals (GTA III).|
|For the myth in GTA Vice City, see Street Criminals (GTA Vice City).|
Street Criminals are NPCs that are programmed to commit crimes. They create a more "complete" environment in the city by simulating typical street crimes making the game more realistic and brutal.
The criminals in GTA San Andreas will try to steal any vehicle, including the player's vehicle. However, they will not steal any law enforcement vehicles. They may have hidden weapons, such as a knife or a pistol. Like in GTA Vice City, if a police officer sees, they will attempt to stop them. Unfortunately, the player no longer receives a "Good Citizen Bonus" for helping the officer, in fact, the player is more likely to attain a wanted level by doing so, possibly because it's considered interfering with police affairs. Nevertheless, one can still help the police by blocking the criminal's car with their own, or bike, or even kill the criminals when out of the cops' sight.
There are four criminals that can be found throughout San Andreas. The first one is a black male dressed in a dark blue checkered shirt, a gold chain, forest-green chonglers, and white sneakers, and is mainly found in Los Santos. The second one, also found in Los Santos, is a Hispanic male wearing sunglasses, a plaid tan shirt worn in a "cholo" style, khaki pants, and black sneakers. The third one is a San Andreas Biker, a white male with sunglasses, a gold chain, fingerless gloves, a leather motorcycle jacket with a gray T-shirt underneath, tan pants, and motorcycle boots. The fourth and final one is a white male who appears to be a punk rocker, sporting a red mohawk, a customized motorcycle jacket with a gray punk rock T-Shirt underneath, tattooed arms, ripped jeans, and maroon combat boots. The punk is the rarest of them all, exclusive to Las Venturas and only spawning at night.
Crack Dealers can also be seen throughout San Andreas. They are identifiable by their clothes and their actions. They wear either jeans and a black tank top or a light-gray hooded jacket. They stand in the same place for a long period of time and deal with other pedestrians. They carry a pistol and a large amount of cash.
Although not necessarily "criminals," road ragers are also a fairly common sight in San Andreas, particularly in rural areas. If someone crashes into them, they will exit their vehicle and attempt to fight or even kill the other driver. Sometimes, they will be armed with a melee weapon, such as a shovel, golf club, or a baseball bat. If they are successful in killing the other driver, they will usually just get back in their car and drive away. Occasionally, a police chase may randomly appear between armed felons in a car and police officers. The armed felons will do a drive-by at the cops during a chase.
Sometimes, a police officer can be seen running after a random NPC, who can be heard screaming "I didn't do it!" or "It wasn't me!" and some other things like that. However, unlike in Vice City, when the officer catches up to them, he will then simply walk away. Strangely, the NPC will still run away screaming. A police chase may also start if a motorist hits a police vehicle whether it be accidental, on purpose, or caused by someone else pushing the car. The police will give chase to whoever hits their car and will attempt to stop them. Once they are stopped, the police will attempt to drag the pedestrian out of their car and will open fire on them regardless of if they are armed or not. Police will also shoot members of certain gangs on sight unless they are in a vehicle.
Random NPCs may attack an officer for some unknown reason, and the officer will take out a pistol and shoot at his attacker. However, the NPC may have a weapon of their own, such as a pistol or a knife.
Street criminals appear in several other Grand Theft Auto titles. However, they will remain mild rather than hostile, until of course, they are intimidated or injured.