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. Although arson is also a property crime, the Hierarchy Rule does not apply to the offense of arson.

Overview

  • There were an estimated 9,320,971 property crime offenses in the Nation in 2009.
  • The 2-year trend showed that property crime decreased 4.6 percent in 2009 compared with the 2008 estimate. The 5-year trend, comparing 2009 data with that of 2005, showed an 8.4 percent drop in property crime.
  • In 2009, the rate of property crime was estimated at 3,036.1 per 100,000 inhabitants, a 5.5 percent decrease when compared with the rate in 2008. The 2009 property crime rate was 11.5 percent lower than the 2005 rate and 16.1 percent under the 2000 rate. (See Tables 1 and 1A.)
  • Larceny-theft accounted for 67.9 percent of all property crimes in 2009. Burglary accounted for 23.6 percent and motor vehicle theft for 8.5 percent. (Based on Table 1.)
  • Property crimes in 2009 resulted in losses estimated at 15.2 billion dollars. (Based on Tables 1 and 23.)

Property Crime in 2009 Chart

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