5 Eye-Opening Home Burglary Stats From 2023

Public perceptions of crime problems in the United States are at their worst. Who can blame them? Check out these five enlightening 2023 burglary stats to see whether the pessimistic sentiments toward worsening crime in the U.S. reflect reality.

1. Burglaries Dropped by 12% From July to September

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the national burglary incidence decreased by 12% during the third quarter of 2023 year over year (YOY). The Northeast, Midwest, South and West regions experienced fewer home break-ins. Midwestern and Western states — including Alaska and Hawaii — even logged a steeper drop at 15%.

These figures debunk Gallup’s 2023 Crime poll, which says 63% of Americans believe the national crime problem is extremely serious. This number represents a 16% jump from the previous reading in 2021 at fifty-four percent.

Is the decline in burglary cases nationwide an isolated incident? The FBI’s violent crime data says it isn’t. In 2022, murder and non-negligent manslaughter diminished by 6.1% YOY. Rape and aggravated assault fell by 5.4% and 1.1%, respectively, in the same year.

Burglary and notable violent crimes in the U.S. have been trending downward for two years, so how come most of the general public thinks the country is severely dangerous? Which one is swaying American opinions more — traditional media or social media? The safe answer is a combination of the two.

Some stories go viral before TV networks report them. Live news coverage goes beyond the small screen, attracting more eyeballs online, generating engagements and sparking offline conversations. Local stories can easily capture the public consciousness at the national level because of the internet, social networking sites and mobile devices. As the image of social media influencers improves and trust in media erodes, social networks and internet celebrities will have a more significant impact on public perceptions of crime.

2. Large Cities and Suburbs Saw 8%-14% Fewer Burglary Cases

Law enforcement agencies in cities and suburbs with a population of 250,000 or more received fewer burglary reports from July to September than the same period the previous year. Crime victimization rates are generally higher in urban than rural areas, so an 8% slackening in Cleveland means more than the same percentage in Taos, New Mexico.

Crime is a fact of life in high-population locations. Still, solid security practices can neutralize dangers and make your property a less desirable burglary target.

Upgrading to a windowless garage door can block the view of prying eyes. If you don’t want to change anything, frosting existing windows can impede visibility and obscure the indoors adequately. Installing surveillance cameras can discourage intruders. Displaying fake ones may suffice if you’re on a tight budget. The sight of realistic decoys can make prowlers think twice about breaking into your property.

3. Washington D.C. Recorded 1,092 Burglaries

This 2023 data represents a 4% jump YOY. About 0.34% of households in a city of almost 679,000 were part of this statistic. Such a rise in burglaries echoed the overall crime trend in the district — total crime went up 26%, while property crime grew slightly slower at twenty-four percent.

Observers blame gentrification for the transgressions. Poorer neighborhoods are undergoing a facelift to make them more palatable for wealthier newcomers, exacerbating the existing racial injustice in the nation’s capital. The state of affairs was so out of control that the D.C. mayor declared public emergencies to address youth violence and the opioid crisis.

Washington, D.C., is an outlier, but 55% of Gallup survey respondents feel local crime is surging. The poll also found 17% of people have been victims of burglary, vandalism, car theft, robbery, armed robbery, battery, sexual assault or any combination of them.

If you live in an area described as a “war zone,” go out only when necessary. Avoid flaunting your valuables in public, be aware of your environment and stay out of dark places. Intuition is science-based, so trust your gut feeling when something feels wrong.

Moreover, lock your doors before you leave. The front door, first-floor windows and back door are intruders’ most common entry points.

Keep your mail and packages from piling up, too. Ensure your porch doesn’t have unclaimed deliveries to make it seem like your home is occupied even when you’re on vacation. Most criminals choose the path of least resistance, so they’re more likely to burglarize houses that look emptier than yours.

4. Montgomery County Had 121 More Home Break-ins Than in 2022

Maryland’s most populous county recorded 1,547 cases of burglary — an upswing of about 8.5% YOY. The Montgomery County Police Department could attest that crimes within its purview have spiked since at least 2022.

Law enforcement identified juvenile delinquency as a cause for concern. Montgomery County Council member Gabe Albornoz acknowledged the local police were understaffed and pushed for higher pay to give the authorities more muscle in addressing elevated crime levels.

Although burglary incidents across U.S. metropolitan counties subsided by 10% in quarters one to three of 2023, Montgomery County’s safety issue isn’t an anomaly. The county is a stone’s throw away from Washington, D.C. It’s unsurprising for it to contend with the same social ills experienced by the National Capital Region’s other urban centers.

Montgomery County’s burglary incidence is worse than the district’s, so buy a smart lock to make your apartment less breachable. Consider a model with a biometric authentication feature. Such a sophisticated device can cost a few figures, but it can render your home as secure as a Manhattan panic room.

5. Portland Reduced Burglaries to 4,507 From January to November

Portland hasn’t completely repaired the image of lawlessness it earned of late. However, its crime data suggests public order is normalizing. The Portland Police Bureau recorded more than 18% fewer residential break-in reports in the first 11 months of 2023 than in the same period in the previous year.

Law enforcement tallied more pronounced peaks and valleys in both periods. Aside from that, 2022 had seven months with more than 6,000 cases. Conversely, the 2023 monthly burglary incidents didn’t cross the 6,000 mark after January.

Portland is a more fitting microcosm of the U.S. regarding crime. What are American law enforcement agencies doing right? Is the justice system working? Are convicted burglars being locked up long enough to change and leave their life of crime?

Jail time is a divisive issue in the States. Only 37% of Americans deem the current lengths of incarceration to be sufficient. Thirty-two percent think offenders of serious crimes should stay behind bars longer, while another 28% believe convicts are overpaying their debt to society. On average, guilty burglars serve 27 months in state prison before their initial release from sentences of more than a year. On the other hand, the median time served is 17 months.

Did You Find These 2023 Burglary Stats Surprising?

Contrary to popular belief, crime in the U.S. is going down. Burglars remain a worrying threat to personal safety and home security. However, misinformation and disinformation can be more dangerous. Scrutinize the media you consume as much as you watch your back to avoid losing touch with reality.

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