Despite a drop in all crime rates for the 11th consecutive year, statistics released Monday by the FBI show that home
burglaries continue to be one of the most common and costly crimes against property faced by homeowners in the United States.
Data collected by the bureau’s Uniform Crime Reporting program shows an estimated 4.4 percent decline in violent crimes when compared to 2012, with a corresponding decrease in crimes against property of 4.1 percent. The 2013 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 367.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the property crime rate was 2,730.7 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate declined 5.1 percent compared to the 2012 rate, while the property crime rate declined 4.8 percent.
Larceny theft had the highest arrest rate for property crimes included in the FBI’s annual report at 405.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. Burglaries came in at second with a rate of 82.9 per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by motor vehicle theft at 21.4 and arson at 3.4. As a whole, victims of property crimes excluding arson suffered losses of an estimated $16.6 billion in 2013.
Reported burglaries showed the most precipitous drop, falling by 8.6 percent. Reported rapes fell by the second-largest drop at 6.3 percent, followed by aggravated assault (5 percent), murder and non-negligent manslaughter (4.4 percent), motor vehicle theft (3.3 percent), robbery (2.8 percent) and larceny-theft (2.7 percent). Collectively, victims of property crimes excluding arson suffered losses of an estimated $16.6 billion in 2013.
The data surrounding burglaries and their attendant arrest rates came out roughly ten months after a study funded by the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation (AIREF) on convicted burglars and their habits and methods. The study, in which convicted burglars from North Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio were interviewed about their motivation and techniques, found that 83 percent of offenders would attempt to determine whether or not a target home had an alarm system or not. The study found that 60 percent of offenders would avoid homes with security systems installed.
The FBI stressed that the rough statistics provided no insight into the deeper variables that mold crime in any particular jurisdiction, and could lead to simplistic or incomplete analyses of crime in any given community.