2018 FBI crime report shows decline in residential burglaries in recent years

KANSAS – A recent report based on figures released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows the number of burglaries dropping across the United States.

The same report, published by safehome.org,  shows Texas ranking 16th in the number of burglaries with a score of 8.24 cases per 1,000 households.

Texas is included as part of “the South” on a map showing the number of burglaries reported in the U.S. between 1998 and 2017.

That region had the highest number of burglaries out of four national regions, with 44.9 percent of the break-ins.

The second highest percentage of burglaries reported in the nation was in the West, which included Alaska and Hawaii, at 26.3 percent.

The third highest percentage of burglaries was reported in the Midwest at 19.6 percent.

The Northeast corner of the nation had the lowest percentage of burglaries reported, at 9.1 percent.

Still, the number of burglaries nationwide has declined by nearly 40 percent between 1998 and 2017.

Burglaries accounted for 15 percent of all the major crimes reported during 2017. In addition, losses to the victims across the nation increased to more than $3 billion in 2017. That did not include other types of theft.

Also, most burglaries, 57 percent, were made by forced entry to the properties of the victims.

Another 6 percent were considered “attempted forcible entry.”

The report showed that 34 percent of burglaries occurred during the daylight hours when the victims usually are not at home.

That figure has remained relatively unchanged over the past 15 years.

The report showed that two out of every three burglaries were committed in homes.

The other third of burglaries occurred in stores, offices churches, schools and other buildings.

On average, the value of cash and other items stolen from homes during burglaries amounted to $2,416 in 2017.

Only about 29 percent of the items stolen in the U.S. were ever recovered. That figure included items taken not only in burglaries but also in all types of theft.

That included items taken in robberies and car thefts. 

Also, the report revealed that only about 13.5 percent of burglaries resulted in an arrest of a suspect.

New Mexico had the largest number of burglaries with a figure of 12.84 per 1,000 housing units. Mississippi came in second place with 12.55 incidents and Louisiana was third with 11.17 burglaries per 1,000 homes.

Texas had 8.24 burglaries per 1,000 housing units.

Maine, New York and New Hampshire had the fewest numbers of burglaries with 3.02 per 1,000 units reported in Maine, 2.83 in New York and 2.73 in New Hampshire.

The report also showed that weather played a role in the number of burglaries committed. The locations with the highest number of residential thefts had a median annual temperature of 59 degrees.

The states with the lowest number of burglaries had median annual temperatures of 48 degrees.

The figures also showed that some of the nation’s metropolitan areas reported a larger number of burglaries when compared to the national average.

The rate for the nation’s 300 most-populated metropolitan areas showed an average of 7.59 burglaries per 1,000 households.

Four of the top 15 metropolitan areas in the nation were located in Louisiana and three were in Arkansas.

The two top cities for residential burglaries were Lake Charles and Hammond, Louisiana, with 25.39 and 21.76 burglaries per 1,000 housing units, respectively.

The third city on the 15 highest list was Hot Springs, Arkansas, with 20.1 burglaries per 1,000 households.

The only city in Texas to make the top 15 list was Victoria, with 15.71 burglaries per 1,000 residences.

Nationwide murder and manslaughter were the least common crimes committed in 2017 at 0.05 crimes per 1,000 population.

Rape came in second with 0.42 incidents per 1,000 population, and robbery was third with 0.98 incidents per 1,000 individuals.

The next most-common offenses reported were auto theft with a rate of 2.37 cases per 1,000 persons, aggravated assault at 2.49 cases, burglary at 4.3 incidents and larceny theft at 16.94 cases per 1,000 persons.

All major crime categories tracked by the FBI declined in total numbers since 1998, according to the report. Burglary had taken the most significant drop in numbers.

All the information collected by safehome.org came from FBI datasets for crimes reported during 2018.