As an full time, licensed property manager and REALTOR, I always recommend that my potential renters visit the area a few times during both day and night. In Las Vegas, the local police department has a great resource where you can type in any property address and it will map out all crime reported within a geographical area you set. As Jeanne and Phil said, talk to the neighbors. Most people love to chat and can fill you in on what is really going on in the area.
As an agent, I recommend that renters and buyers do their due diligence - visit the area on different days and at varying times of day. Speak to locals, talk to the police. Do their own Megans Law search, easy enough to do online.
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