Property Crime

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In the 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.


  • There were an estimated 9,983,568 property crimes in the Nation in 2006.
  • The 2- and 10-year trends showed that the number of property crimes in 2006 decreased 1.9 percent when compared with the 2005 estimate and declined 13.6 percent when compared with the 1997 estimate.
  • In 2006, the rate of property crime offenses was estimated at 3,334.5 property crimes per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • Two-year and 10-year trends indicated that the rate of property crimes in 2006 decreased 2.8 percent when compared with the 2005 data and declined 22.7 percent when compared with the 1997 data.  (See Tables 1 and 1A.)
  • Two-thirds of all property crimes were larceny-thefts.  (Based on Table 1.)
  • Property crimes accounted for an estimated $17.6 billion dollars in losses.  (Based on Tables 1 and 23.)

Property Crime in 2006 Chart

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