Archive for Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lawrence crime data analysis shows burglars no more likely to strike during holidays than any other time of year

Police vehicles block off a portion of Lakeview Road while officers investigate reports of a suspicious package.

Police vehicles block off a portion of Lakeview Road while officers investigate reports of a suspicious package.

December 23, 2010


Burglaries: By the Numbers

Annual number of burglaries in Lawrence

• 2007: 376

• 2008: 336

• 2009: 346

• Daily average: .97

Burglaries reported between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3

• 2007-08: 6

• 2008-09: 14

• 2009-10: 12

• Daily average: .94

Statistics provided by the Lawrence Police Department.

Google Map

Holiday burglaries map

View Burglaries in Lawrence in a larger map

Map of residential burglaries in Lawrence during Dec. 23 to Jan. 3 for 2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-10. Blue is for 2007, Red 2008, and Yellow 2009. Locations are approximate block locations. Data obtained from the Lawrence Police Department.

Thousands of empty homes over the holidays — left by college students and other traveling Lawrencians — would seem to create the perfect atmosphere for would-be burglars.

“You would think you’d see a bump,” said Lawrence Police Sgt. Matt Sarna.

But an analysis of crime data for the past three years in Lawrence shows burglars are no more likely to strike over the holidays than during any other time of the year.

In the 12 days between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3 in 2007, 2008 and 2009, home burglaries averaged slightly less than one per day, consistent with the total yearly average of about 352.

Dr. Larry Hoover, a criminologist at Sam Houston State University who studies crime trends, said a variety of factors keep home invasions low over the holidays despite a surplus of empty homes.

The unknown is a key issue for burglars, Hoover said.

“Burglary is a calculated, economic crime,” he said.

Over the holidays it’s much more difficult for burglars to know when people will be in the home, as people are off work and additional relatives might be visiting.

Most burglars do everything they can to avoid encounters with people, Hoover said.

“People fear the burglar breaking in at 3 a.m.” when someone is home, he said. “That rarely happens.”

Hoover’s tips for preventing burglaries during the holidays include not leaving presents where they can be seen from the outside, keeping Christmas lights on, leaving one car home if possible, and having packages and mail picked up by neighbors.

“Make it appear as though someone is home,” he said.


yankeevet 4 years, 11 months ago

Tis the season to be Glocked and Locked...........................

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