Burglaries are on the rise in Washington, D.C. Police blame the souring economy as a contributing factor in a 21 percent increase in break-ins over the same period last year, the Washington Post reports. Criminals are jimmying locks, kicking in front doors, breaking through roof hatches and skylights, and sometimes sawing security bars off windows to get into houses and businesses. They are hauling off computers, flat-screen televisions, jewelry, digital media players and other items.
Violent crime reports are declining. As busier summer months approach, police are trying to get a handle on the burglary problem while keeping violence down. Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum said the sluggish economy could spur property crimes. “It’s an indicator of how economics can have some impact on crime,” he said. “The reality is, there is not a clear line you can draw between unemployment and poverty and crime, but there are some types of crime — burglaries, for example — that lend themselves to fencing.” Most major police departments focus on violent crime. “When you put resources into violent crime, it inevitably means something else doesn’t get the same attention,” Wexler said.