12 December 2005

The Wages Of Crime

There are roughly ten times as many property crimes committed in the United States and reported to police each year as there are violent crimes. One of the most illuminating of the crime statistics available (Table 303) notes that these crimes don't involve a lot of money.

In 2002, the average value lost for various property crimes was as shown below (and the value gains by the criminal was usually far less than the value lost by the victim). For these purposes, a robbery is a theft by use of force or threat of force, a burglary involves theft after breaking and entering into a building.

Motor Vehicle Theft $6,701
Bank Robbery $4,763
Non-Residential Burglary $1,678
Commercial Business Robbery $1,676
Residential Burglary $1,482
Residential Robbery $1,340
Street or Highway Roberry $1,045
Theft From Building $1,013
Theft Not Elsewhere Classified $984
Theft From Motor Vehicles $692
Gas Station Robbery $679
Convenience Store Robbery $665
Motor Vehicle Accessories $432
Purse Snatching $332
Pocket Picking $328
Bicycle Theft $257
Vending Machine Theft $250
Shoplifting $187

By comparison, in a civil court in Colorado, anything under $15,000 is subject to a simplified civil procedure in county court, and claims under $5,000 are commonly handled as "small claims" procedure without attorneys involved.

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