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Property Crimes

Property Crimes I. Burglary A. definition – burglary – unlawful entry of any fixed structure, vehicle, or vessel used for regular residence, industry, or business, with or without force, with intent to commit a felony or a larceny B. subclasses of burglary 1. forcible entry a. some evidence of breakage, prying or other evidence of forceful entry is found b. examples 1. broken window 2. jimmied door 3. loosened air-conditioning duct 2. attempted forcible entry a. shows evidence of force, although the perpetrator may not have achieved actual entry 3. unlawful entry where no force is used a. ccurs when a burglar enters an unlocked residence uninvited, stealing items found there C. nighttime burglary, which is more severely punished in some jurisdictions than daytime burglary, holds the possibility of violent confrontation between offender and homeowner D. according to the laws of most jurisdictions, burglary has not occurred unless it was the intent of the unlawful entrant to commit a felony or a theft once inside the burglarized location

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1. other forms of illegal entry may simply be counted as trespass E. Statistics – for 2003 according to the UCR 1. 2,153,464 reported burglaries 2. rate of 740. 5 per 100,000 people a. 58 per 100,000 in cities b. 555 per 100,000 in rural areas c. type 1. 62% involved forcible entry 2. 31% unlawful entry with no force 3. 6. 3% attempted forcible entry d. 2/3 of reported burglaries were of residences e. $1,626 – average amount lost per burglary 1. $1,600 average per incident for residential burglary 2. $1,676 average per incident per non-residential burglary f. $3. 5 billion – estimated total economic loss suffered by all burglary victims g. gender 1. 86% of offenders were male age 1. 30% of offenders were under age 18 i. race 1. 70. 5% of offenders were White 2. 28% of offenders were African-American j. learance rate 1. 13. 1% clearance rate a. 16% clearance rate in rural areas b. 14% clearance rate in cities F. Statistics for NCVS in 2003 1. 3,395,620 household burglaries and attempted burglaries

2. rates of burglaries generally higher for African-American households than for White households 3. wealthy African-American families had far lower burglary rates than did low-income White families 4. African-American families, regardless of locality, were more likely to be burglarized than White families 5. the longer a respondent lives at a particular residence, the less likely that person will be to report having been burglarized a. esidence of 6 months or less reported a burglary rate of 151 per 1,000 households b. residence of 5 years or more reported a burglary rate of 38 per 1,000 households G. The Social Ecology of Burglary 1. burglary rates are higher in large metropolitan areas and in particular regions of the country such as the Midwest

2. lifestyle theory and routine activities theory have had a significant impact on explanations of how the nature and level of property crime offending have altered in response to changes in the routine activities and structure of daily activity a. rom the standpoint of routine activities theory, for a criminal act to occur, three ingredients are necessary: 1. someone who wants something (a motivated offender) coming into direct contact with 2. someone who has that thing (a suitable target) and 3. the lack of anything or anyone to inhibit the crime (a capable guardian) b. individuals, families, and communities all change in response to: 1. changes in technology 2. changes in the production and distribution of services and goods

3. changes in the social structure of the population c. the basic contention of both lifestyle theory and routine h. 3. 4. ctivities theory is that the following all influence the risk of criminal victimization: 1. what people do 2. where they do it 3. how often they do it 4. with whom they do it d. concern is to explore not why people commit crimes but, rather “how the structure of social life makes it easy or difficult for people to carry out these inclinations” which are taken as a given 6. routine activities provide choices to individuals, including criminals, and set the stage for subsequent events determining the success of the offender in carrying out the crime, or the potential victim in avoiding victimization Lawrence E.

Cohen and David Cantor a. Residential Burglary in the United States: Life-Style and Demographic Factors Associated with the Probability of Victimization, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Vol. 18, No. 1 (1981) 1. interested in testing Hindelang’s hypothesis that the affluence of a household was a more important factor in its selection as a burglary target than was ease of access to the household 2. confirmed that the highest income households and the lowest income households in areas both within and outside the central city had the highest victimization rates Robert J. Sampson and John D. Wooldredge a.

Linking the Micro- and Macro-Level Dimensions of Lifestyle-Routine Activity and Opportunity Models of Predatory Victimization, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Vol. 3 (1987) b. used data from the British Crime Survey c. concerned with the impact of community context on lifestyle d. hypothesis that single-adult households are associated with a decrease in guardianship and a correspondingly greater risk of victimization than are two-adult households e. findings 1. the highest victimization risk for burglary was found within the single-adult households compared with households of at least two adults 2. ounger heads of households and those households left unguarded had the highest victimization risk 3. the highest victimization risks were for residences in areas characterized by: a. high unemployment b. high building density c. primary individual households d. single–parent households with children 4. even controlling for the individual-level factor of single-person households, the community measure of percentage of single-adult households continues to have a significant effect on increasing the risk of burglary victimization 5. victimization risk for personal theft was less for those who are married, older, and male 6. ictimization risk was higher for individuals with more education and for women

7. areas characterized by a high degree of family disruption, low social cohesion, and a large amount of street activity had higher victimization risks for personal theft H. the nature and extent/costs of burglary 1. UCR data for 2003 a. prevalence of types of burglaries 1. most frequent type – forcible entry 2. second most frequent type – unlawful entry 3. least frequent type – attempted forcible entry b. slight majority of burglaries occurred during the day 1. residential burglaries are more likely to occur in the evening c. urglary is a victim-avoiding crime 1. most residential burglars commit their offense at a time when residents are unlikely to be home 2. UCR data for 1999 a. 2,100,000 reported burglaries (FBI, 2000) 1. this represents a 10% reduction from 1998 b. two of every three burglaries are of private residences c. 64% involved forcible entry d. the total amount of lost property was $3. 1 billion e. as is the case with other crimes, the number of burglaries reported by the UCR is questioned 1. the NCVS generally reports about twice as many burglaries as the UCR 2. this discrepancy indicates that about half of all burglaries go unreported 3.


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