As the rush of morning workers clogs the highways leading out of Collin County, Tx., another pool of commuters heads in the opposite direction. The Dallas Morning News says “they prowl the newer subdivisions, creep along alleys and lurk in back yards, sizing up their next hit. ” Burglars turn up in suburbs looking for an easy swipe among households crammed with digital cameras, DVD players, diamond rings. and other pricey merchandise.
The crime pattern shown in a Dallas Morning News analysis of court records spanning more than 10 years breaks with national trends that show burglars usually steal closer to home. “This is a target-rich environment,” Collin County District Attorney John Roach said. “We have a lot of wealth in this county. We have big houses, nice cars and lots and lots of construction projects.” More than half of the property-crime offenders convicted in Collin County from 1994 to 2005 came from outside the area. The stream of out-of-town criminals makes Collin County unusual, said Arthur Jipson, director of criminal justice studies at the University of Dayton in Ohio. Other wealthy suburbs around the country have seen patterns similar to Collin County. George Rengert, criminal justice professor at Philadelphia’s Temple University, studied criminals who commuted from Manhattan to prey on the middle- and upper-class suburb of Greenwich, Ct.