Last month the FBI released its 2009 report on crime in the US. Residential burglaries were slightly down from 2008 (showing the smallest decrease of any crime category), and some states even reported an increase – which ties with what I hear anecdotally from around the US. The fact remains that a break-in occurred somewhere every 14.3 seconds, with an average property loss of over $2,000. Victims of property crime (excluding arson) lost a total of $15.2 billion in 2009. I focus on national property crime and fire statistics because that’s our business, but I also see plenty of headlines on crime spikes in specific communities – and the latest such report is from FrontPoint’s back yard: Fairfax County, Virginia.
“A brazen and prolific burglar, thought to be responsible for nearly 90 break-ins across Fairfax County, continues to baffle police while adding more locations to his crime spree. As of this week, detectives have linked 87 reported incidents they say were committed by the same male suspect, who enters vehicles and occupied homes through unlocked or open doors and windows.”
This rash of break-ins started in late August, and the police report that the suspected burglar may have hit eight homes in one night alone. “He apparently likes nicer homes with a little bit of land, often backing into some woods. The homes also seem to be just off major roads,” said one police officer. This fits the pattern of many intruders, who shun visibility for darkness, as well as the cover of vegetation. (Click here for my post on Top 10 Home Security Tips). I’m also happy to see the police recommending a monitored alarm system for greater peace of mind.
One resident asked about additional security precautions that residents could take to ensure their home is safe. Crime Prevention Officer Patrick Lucas suggested residents contact their crime prevention unit at their district station to set up a free home security survey, and called alarm systems an “investment.” Lucas added, “Alarm systems are one layer of several that are available to you for your safety at home.”
High unemployment and a struggling economy certainly don’t help in the fight against crime, but it’s not all bad news: FrontPoint Security is completely committed to your safety and protection with Interactive, wireless home security that is safer, smarter, simpler, and more affordable. When crime makes the news around the US, you’ll see it here. And if it’s getting bad where you live, feel free to let me know.