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Cars Stolen in Burglaries: The Sandwell Experience

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 19 Issue: 1 Dated: 2006 Pages: 22-32
Susan Donkin; Melanie Wellsmith
Date Published
11 pages
This study analyzed the extent to which domestic burglaries are being carried out in the United Kingdom in an effort to steal cars.
Results indicated that the number of burglaries in the study area in which a car was also stolen increased significantly over the study period, rising from 42 in 1999 to 119 in 2003 which represents an increase of 183 percent. On the other hand, the number of vehicle crimes in which a car was stolen without a corresponding domestic burglary declined by 34 percent over the same period. The findings suggest that increased security devices on cars have forced car thieves to adapt their modus operandi to circumvent these new security measures. Domestic burglary with the aim of stealing the car keys and then the car has quickly emerged as one of the main adaptations to increased vehicle security measures. The study focused on the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council area of Great Britain; data on recorded crime and property information for both domestic burglary and vehicle crime were gathered from the West Midlands Police Department. Researchers analyzed 382 burglary incidents involving the theft of a car and 14,098 incidents of vehicle theft. Future research should focus on a location-specific examination of the link between domestic burglaries and car thefts in order to investigate whether offenders in different areas have adapted to increased vehicle security measures in different ways. Figures, tables, references, appendix