“Lust” Of Meth Cited As Indiana Burglaries Increase


Burglaries have increased more than 25 percent since 2000 in Marion and Hamilton counties in the Indianapolis area, says the Indianapolis Star. Drug use, the added opportunities provided by a growing population and, early releases from the Marion County Jail helped drive the increase. Burglaries are among the toughest crimes to crack, with 14 of every 100 Indianapolis cases solved and about $4 of every $100 in stolen property recovered. Jason Hutchens of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, said that burglars are violent: “I think there’s a perception by some to treat drug offenders, burglars and people doing certain property crimes as nonviolent offenders, and that’s just not what the criminal history and research shows.”

Without a witness, DNA, or fingerprints, the crime becomes impossible to prosecute. Many burglars are stealing to support a drug habit. Meth addicts tend to be disorganized and prolific burglars, IPD Sgt. Lloyd Walker said. “The lust of the drug is just so severe that they don’t worry about being caught,” Walker said. In the time it takes police to gather and process evidence from one crime scene, Walker said a desperate burglar can hit four or five more homes. Chuck Cohen, an associate criminology professor at Indiana University and an Indiana State Police sergeant, said homeowners need to protect themselves. Trim back the bushes, lock doors and forget about hiding a backup house key. “In any subdivision you can find the hidden keys in minutes,” Cohen said. “Try to make yourself as unattractive a target as possible.”

Link: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060215/NEWS01/602150453

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