Burglars are Less Active, but Earning more Money

Monday, June 24, 2013

Burglars in the United States are working fewer hours, but making more money these days, according to new crime statistics released by the federal government.


In 1994, there were 63.4 victimizations per 1,000 households among all burglaries. By 2011, that rate had plummeted 54%, to just 27.6 victimizations.


Burglars also have been less active in targeting homes, with a 47% drop from 1994 (when there were 6.4 million residential burglaries) to 2011 (when there were 3.4 million).


Somehow, though, burglars did better for themselves while breaking into fewer businesses and households during the period studied by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).


The median dollar value of possessions and cash stolen jumped 54% from 1994 to 2011, BJS reported, with the median financial loss going from $389 (adjusted for inflation) to $600. Because the average loss (as opposed to the median loss) in 2011 was $2,116, it would appear that high-end burglars are proving successful. However, low-income households are still victimized at a higher rate that upper-income households.


About 10% of completed burglaries result in an arrest.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Financial Loss Due To Household Burglary Increased From 1994 To 2011 (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

Household Burglary, 1994-2011 (by Jennifer Hardison Walters, Andrew Moore, Marcus Berzofsky and Lynn Langton, Bureau of Justice Statistics) (pdf)

10 Possible Explanations for the Drop in the U.S. Crime Rate (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Burglars Used Facebook Updates to Pick Victims (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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