|For the myth in GTA III, see Street Criminals (GTA III).|
|For the myth in GTA San Andreas, see Street Criminals (GTA SA).|
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.
Like in previous games, the criminals in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City come in three varieties. One is a black man with a black leather jacket, blue jeans, black gloves, and white sneakers. The other is a white man with a reddish-colored leather jacket, blue jeans, and black shoes. The last one, the rarest of the three, is a Hispanic man, resembling a Pimp, with a red leather jacket, black pants with red leather stripes, and a sombrero.
The first two bear a resemblance to the Sharks, although with cleaner attire. They can often be seen in groups in the North Point Mall at night, except for the Hispanic man, in and outside the mall. They really don't rob people of their money, rather, they will steal any civilian vehicle that they can access, including ambulances, helicopters, and the player's vehicle. They will not attempt to steal motorcycles, scooters, gang cars, law enforcement vehicles, apart from Rhinos, or fire trucks.
They might even commandeer a Maverick or another helicopter if the player lands one near them and waits long enough for one of them to notice the aircraft. However, unlike later games, they won't fly away. Instead, they will drift forwards along the road with the rotor blades spinning. This is the result of the game's engine being unable to implement proper AI for normal NPCs flying helicopters outside of missions. This can become a serious safety hazard, since the blades can severely damage anyone that comes near it, including the player.
However, if a police officer sees them carjacking, or just walking in general, they will attempt to stop them. The player is rewarded a "Good Citizen Bonus" of $50 if they choose to help the officer. There is a glitch, where the player can repeatedly stomp on the criminal and receive the $50 bonus until the body disappears, even if the criminal is dead. This only applies, if the player uses their fists or a melee weapon. If the player discharges firearms under any circumstances near a cop, they will receive a star on their Wanted Level.
Street Criminals often enter the Washington Beach Police Station, and get shot by the police officers. Members of the Patrol Invest Group also don't take kindly to them and will sometimes try to shoot the street criminals, but only if the street criminals attack them.
The cops pursuing them can be up to three officers against one street criminals, or more If there are S.W.A.T, FBI or even the Army, and they will not give up pursuing them unless the protagonist, Tommy Vercetti, commits a hostile action near an officer pursuing them, and the cops will immediately turn against Vercetti instead. In fact, all law enforcement in Vice City will pursue them, similar to gang members.