On average, a burglar smashed through doors and windows to rip off valuables in Houston every 30 minutes last year, says the Houston Chronicle. Burglaries went up at least 22 percent over the last four years, producing nearly 22,000 victims. More than 500 houses were hit multiple times last year. “Burglary is not entirely a property crime because there’s the risk of violence and the invasion of privacy,” said Prof. Sandra Thompson of the University of Houston Law Center. “The victims always have the upsetting feeling and fear that ‘What if I had been at home?’?
“I have done everything I can, you just can’t prevent them,” said Dayton Spain, who has been burglarized four times – two from the front door and two through the back. Burglars haven’t given him a rest since May 2009. Burglars are rarely caught. The Chronicle analysis of burglary data and other records shows seven percent or less of residential break-ins result in arrests, mostly because there are no witnesses or evidence most of the time. Among homes that have been hit more than once, a Chronicle analysis showed, the culprits most often returned within three months, or even one. “That can be a problem,” said police Lt. Charles Dunn. He advised people to act quickly on safety measures once their home is exposed to crooks, so they don’t return again. The Boston Herald reports a similar trend: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20100712spike_in_boston_break-ins_cops_115_percent_increase_citywide/srvc=home&position=0