Last week I blogged about understanding a burglar’s routine and tips for deterrence. But what do we know about burglars’ motivations?
In June last year, Peter blogged about drug addiction as a major contributing factor to residential crime.
He warned, “If you think drug addiction doesn’t impact your suburban life much, think again.” He also noted that when someone breaks into your house, it typically isn’t the kid down the street looking for a thrill – it’s a drug addict desperate to fuel his habit. Peter quoted Police Chief Charles Goss, saying, “a very large percentage of burglaries are done for drugs.”
More recently, I found a police captain in Elko, NV echoing this view. Here’s what he said in the December 27, 2012 edition of the local Elko newspaper:
“Nearly 100 percent of violent crimes here are drug-related in some way,” said Elko Police Capt. Will Lehmann. “About 80% of property crime is drug related, and I’m referring to alcohol as a drug as well.”
“We have people we arrest over and over again for the same things,” Lehmann said. “10% of our people commit 90% of our crimes. All of the people we deal with have a drug or alcohol problem of some sort. We’re doing the best we can to combat it.”
The Elko article also notes that: “Burglary rates were high in 2012 and law enforcement believes it is largely drug use – especially methamphetamine use – that has nudged those rates higher.”
For this blog I’d like to expand Peter’s topic, moving beyond the motivation for burglary, to cover some of the most recent statistics on burglary in general. By better understanding the crime, we can do more to protect ourselves and our valuables.
- Homes are targeted in at least 70% of burglaries
- The average arrest rate for burglaries in the U.S. is only 13%. If your home is broken into, the chances of recovering your stolen possessions are small
- Most burglaries occur between 10:00am and 3:00pm, and more occur during warm weather than during cold weather
- A typical burglary lasts from 90 seconds to 12 minutes
- Regionally, the South accounts for 47% of burglaries. The Midwest and West each account for 21%, and the Northeast accounts for the remaining 11%
- Most burglars are under age 25
- Over half (56%) of burglars are white and 31% are Hispanic
- Almost all (95%) burglars are male
- Most burglars already have a rap sheet, due to robbery, assault or drug-related offenses
- In 2012, the average loss per break-in in the U.S. was $1,675
- 34% of burglars enter through front door
- The master bedroom is the first room targeted
- Every year there are approximately 2.2 million burglaries in the U.S.; on average 1 burglary every 14 to 15 seconds
- A home without a security system is 3 times more likely to be broken into than a home with a security system
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