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Creating Burglary Profiles Using Latent Class Analysis: A New Approach to Offender Profiling

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 39 Issue: 12 Dated: December 2012 Pages: 1582-1611
Bryanna Hahn Fox; David P. Farrington
Date Published
December 2012
30 pages
This research aims to create the first statistically derived profile of burglars in the United States.
This research creates a new criminal profile for burglary by establishing the link among certain offender traits, past criminal behavior, and crime scene features. Utilizing latent class analysis (LCA) to identify underlying groups within the offender and offense characteristics, the relationship between certain offense styles and the most likely offender may then be established. These offense-offender profiles may be used by police to predict traits of an unknown offender based on information from a crime scene alone. Based on a sample of 405 burglaries committed between 2008 and 2009 in Florida, 4 criminal history groups, 4 offender types, and 4 offense styles were identified using LCA. A significant relationship was found among the offense styles and offender trait types, as well as between the offender trait and criminal history categories. This study serves both theoretical and practical purposes, as the findings have important implications for academia and law enforcement alike. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.