Drug Addiction Still Fueling Rise in Burglaries

Posted by , , at 7:15 pm

I recently wrote that burglary statistics remain stubbornly high (and have even spiked, in some locales): we’re now seeing a burglary just about every 14 seconds across the US. Sure, a weak economy and high unemployment are partially to blame, but it has become increasingly apparent to crime prevention professionals that drug use and addiction are major contributing factors to residential crime. And from Strongville, Ohio, an affluent suburb of Cleveland, comes this connection of burglary with addiction.

If you think drug addiction doesn’t impact your suburban life much, think again. Police say 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. “I would say a very large percentage of burglaries are done for drugs,” Police Chief Charles Goss said.

Analyzing the Crime

Goss called burglary “a crime of desperation.” “Residential burglary really is a desperate act because of the risk involved,” he said. “If you’re going to be a criminal for profit, there are a lot more safe endeavors than residential burglary.” He put home break-ins in the same category as robbery because of the burglar’s risk of being hurt or apprehended. In even bolder cases, addicts will enter houses during the night, when residents are at home.

For Example…

“It’s like those cases we had in the north end of town where we caught the guy,” Goss said. “Those people were home when he broke in. The suspect is fortunate he wasn’t injured or killed.” In those incidents, a Cleveland man was charged in March with entering two houses on South Drive while residents slept. He tried to get into a third house and also broke into two cars, police said.

Federal Statistics

A 2010 U.S. Department of Justice about the impact of drugs on society cites a 2008 study that found 67.6 percent of male arrestees tested positive for one of 10 drugs, including cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. In 2002, another survey found that 68 percent of jail inmates were abusing drugs and alcohol, and that 55 percent had used illicit drugs during the month before their offense.

Local Study Confirms Findings

In an informal report made back in the early 1990s, a former Medina County [Ohio] sheriff interviewed a group of inmates serving time for burglary, asking them how they picked the homes they broke into and the easiest ways to get in. He also asked why they broke into homes. All but one had the same answer: To get money for drugs. There were 107 burglaries reported in Strongsville last year, up slightly from 2012, according to the police department’s annual report.

What you want most is for these random intruders to move on to the next house – and it’s been shown that the best deterrent to intrusion is a monitored home alarm system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring and smarter interactive features. FrontPoint specializes in these systems: as the leader in wireless home security and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US, that’s our commitment. From Oregon to Texas to Florida to Strongsville, Ohio, in thousands of cities and towns all across the US and Canada, FrontPoint is on the job. And we just may be your prescription for increasing your security and peace of mind.

 

Comments (8)

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  1. steve

    There is a lot of debate as to who the majority of burglars are. Many people say that burglars are previously law abiding citizens who have lost their jobs and are desperate to find work and turn to robbing other peoples homes because they feel their is no other way for them to pay bills.Other people say that most burglars are young punk thugs who are already from the criminal element of society and have drug habits,and they would likely rob homes if the economy was better anyway. I believe the latter.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Steve – thanks for your thoughtful comment. I concur that some burglars fall into your first group, and that even more fall into your second group, so I agree with you in that regard. But what you are forgetting (and what I have blogged out several times) is the growing number of burglars who are not young, or “punk thugs,” but are still stealing to support a drug habit. And that number is growing quickly, recognized by law enforcements as a serious threat. In fact, it is thought by many that drug addiction is the main reason why residential crime has been the only the only type of crime to stay at historical levels, or even increase over the past several years, while other types of crime are dropping. Thanks again!

  2. steve

    There is a lot of debate as to who the majority of burglars are. Many people say that burglars are previously law abiding citizens who have lost their jobs and are desperate to find work and turn to robbing other peoples homes because they feel their is no other way for them to pay bills.Other people say that most burglars are young punk thugs who are already from the criminal element of society and have drug habits,and they would likely rob homes if the economy was better anyway. I believe the latter.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Steve – thanks for your thoughtful comment. I concur that some burglars fall into your first group, and that even more fall into your second group, so I agree with you in that regard. But what you are forgetting (and what I have blogged out several times) is the growing number of burglars who are not young, or “punk thugs,” but are still stealing to support a drug habit. And that number is growing quickly, recognized by law enforcements as a serious threat. In fact, it is thought by many that drug addiction is the main reason why residential crime has been the only the only type of crime to stay at historical levels, or even increase over the past several years, while other types of crime are dropping. Thanks again!

  3. phatpooch

    VANCOUVER / ADDICTION / HOMELESS / CHAOS / POVERTY

    THE HARSH REALITY OF ADDICTION

    The producers of this short film are both recovering addicts who have both spent time living and indulging with drug addiction in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Today they are both clean and sober with multiple years of recovery

    http://archive.org/details/VancouverAddictionHomelessChaosPoverty

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks for the information – very helpful insight into a growing problem.

  4. phatpooch

    VANCOUVER / ADDICTION / HOMELESS / CHAOS / POVERTY

    THE HARSH REALITY OF ADDICTION

    The producers of this short film are both recovering addicts who have both spent time living and indulging with drug addiction in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Today they are both clean and sober with multiple years of recovery

    http://archive.org/details/VancouverAddictionHomelessChaosPoverty

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks for the information – very helpful insight into a growing problem.