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I've got all 100% sync, the only thing missing is the thieves challenges, which I can't finish because I can't find a courier to catch. I know that there's no way to make them "appear", but are there any way to increase the chance for the, appearing, or is there a place or area where they appear more often?

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Apparently, couriers don't have any special place where they spawn more, they are simply a rare spawn.

Ubisoft have addressed this in the 1.02 patch that was released for the XBOX and PS3 versions:

Couriers will now appear more often in Boston and New York

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I found them to appear more in New York, but I've only seen 3 so far in all my game time.

Unsurprisingly they always appear when I'm busy with other things, so I have to break off and chase them down. They are a 'rare' spawn though, with some people saying they show up after you pay off a printer.

There is a spot listed here, with a confirmation post.
http://www.ps3trophies.org/forum/assassins-creed-iii/178261-thief-challenge-take-down-courier-4.html#post3197409
However I've not tried this spot myself.

You might also try

The place I remember them spawning more than once is in the market that is in the middle of broadway.

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They have been anything but rare for me in NY. They are constantly appearing whenever I am out collecting/killing. –  Colin D Jan 18 '13 at 13:29
    
Courier spawns are strange. I got a lot of them, they seem to spawn when you're not on a mission and just running around collecting things. I actually had one spawn inside a fort while I was stealthing around trying to capture it. –  turbo Jan 18 '13 at 13:44
    
I also saw one spawn inside a fort. –  Shinrai Jan 18 '13 at 17:04
    
@ColinD - There was a patched that addressed them not spawning. This answer was posted before that patch was released. –  Ramhound Jan 18 '13 at 19:53
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