Beware, Alaskans: They’re coming for your guns.
Everyone takes precautions to guard their property, whether by locking doors, hiding wallets from plain view or setting passcodes on phones. But a new analysis of FBI crime data shows that Americans might want to reprioritize the items they protect based on the theft patterns of their particular state.
The study from SafeHome, entitled “Stealing Strangers’ Stuff,” looked at the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting data from 2015 to find out which items are targeted by burglars, robbers and run-of-the-mill thieves in each state.
The ubiquity of these crimes, even on a day-to-day basis, is staggering. In 2014, the FBI reported more than 4,600 robberies every day. Smaller crimes, grouped under “larceny-theft,” occurred every 5.4 seconds. The cost of property crimes alone in 2014 is estimated to be worth $14.3 billion.
But not all theft is the same, and not all states are equally vulnerable.
Aside from miscellaneous valuables, the most commonly stolen items throughout the country are jewelry and precious metals. More than 4,000 such thefts occur in each state in an average month, according to 2015 data from the FBI, making jewelry and precious metals the top targets of thieves across 26 states.
In a tally of states, money is the second most popular — it’s the top item for theft in 11 states, including New York, Pennsylvania and both Dakotas — but in terms of raw numbers, clothing was the real runner-up, with more than 3,400 items stolen every month in each state on average. Clothing is the top item for theft in California and Hawaii, along with five other states.
In only one state are firearms the most common item stolen: Alaska. Yet it reported fewer gun thefts than America’s other noncontiguous state, Hawaii.
But that’s no snub to the Last Frontier. Hawaii topped the list for items stolen per capita in every category, from clothing to livestock to office equipment. There were more than 246 instances of pickpocketing in Hawaii for every 100,000 residents, compared with 173 incidents in Washington, D.C.
“We can’t really speculate why” Hawaii has the highest theft levels, “but that’s definitely what we found,” said Nelson Garcia, senior media relations specialist for the study.
There may be no perfect safeguard against thieves and burglars, but SafeHome offers a list of home protection tips to provide the best defense possible.