Property Crime

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Definition

In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. The property crime category includes arson because the offense involves the destruction of property; however, arson victims may be subjected to force. Because of limited participation and varying collection procedures by local law enforcement agencies, only limited data are available for arson. Arson statistics are included in trend, clearance, and arrest tables throughout Crime in the United States, but they are not included in any estimated volume data. The arson section in this report provides more information on that offense.

Data collection

The data presented in Crime in the United States reflect the Hierarchy Rule, which requires that only the most serious offense in a multiple-offense criminal incident be counted. In descending order of severity, the violent crimes are murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, followed by the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. The Hierarchy Rule does not apply to the offense of arson.

Overview

  • There were an estimated 9,767,915 property crime offenses in the Nation in 2008.
  • The 2-year trend showed property crime decreased 0.8 percent in 2008 compared with 2007 estimates. The 5-year trend, comparing 2008 with 2004, showed a 5.3 percent drop in property crime.
  • In 2008, the rate of property crimes was estimated at 3,212.5 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, a 1.6 percent decrease when compared with the rate in 2007. The 2008 property crime rate was 8.6 percent lower than the 2004 rate and 14.2 percent under the 1999 rate. (Tables 1 and 1A.)
  • Larceny-theft accounted for 67.5 percent of all property crimes in 2008. Burglary accounted for 22.7 percent and motor vehicle theft for 9.8 percent. (Based on Table 1.)
  • An estimated 17.2 billion dollars in losses resulted from property crimes in 2008. (Based on Tables 1 and 23.)

Property Crime in 2008 Chart

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