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The Burglary Recession

There’s at least one unexpected benefit of rising unemployment. More people are staying home during working hours and going out less often at night. That means there’s less chance they’ll be burglarized. In St. Louis County, Mo., burglaries are down 35 percent this year; in Minneapolis, they’re down 15 percent. There was a 14 percent falloff in Phoenix, which has also seen an 81 percent increase in foreclosures this year, leaving one to wonder if there are simply fewer houses there with anything left inside to steal. It also presents a question for the criminologists in the audience: when burglars can no longer burgle, do they turn to other kinds of crime? [%comments]