More than 2 million Americans are victims of burglary every year. For most of the past 30 years, the national burglary total has declined, reports National Public Radio. Just about every other major crime has peaked and plummeted with three major crime waves. Barry Mathis, a Washington, D.C. burglar on probation, says he stopped breaking into homes because there’s just no money in it anymore. “If you’re going to do a burglary, you need to have some buyers,” Mathis says. “Everybody has everything now.”
Criminologists say there are other reasons behind the 30-year drop in burglaries – such as the 1 million private police and security guards at work in residential communities. Nationwide, one in four homes now has a burglar alarm. The alarms and other devices like steel bars, stronger doors, and security glass, make it more of a hassle to break into homes. Even locks, the most basic anti-burglary device, have undergone major changes since the 1970s. Locks are far more secure than they were 30 years ago. The 1970s also saw the widespread introduction of the deadbolt. There’s no way to know whether police are preventing burglaries, but they’re not catching many burglars. The Justice Department says police solve fewer burglaries than any other crime, around one in 10. They’re more likely to catch a car thief than a burglar.