There is no doubt that the United States is the worst developed country in terms of home burglaries. A recent survey has shown that the US experiences on average 250 burglaries per hour which is four times the amount of the next nearest country, the United Kingdom.
Americans report an average of roughly $4.8 billion in losses in 2012 due to burglaries on an annual basis. This amount is generally greater than the profits of the eight largest Fortune 500 companies in the nation. The property loss due to burglaries is simply staggering and the trend towards this form of crime shows little sign of real weakening given its nature.
Many burglaries happen when the residents are away from their homes which means that for a large percentage, the crime is not discovered until it’s over. For those living in the US and wondering where they stand, here are the Top 10 high risk burglary cities in the US. The statistics are based on the number of burglaries per one thousand people, which reveals that larger cities tend to be the most heavily burglarized.
1. Houston, Texas
With more burglaries than any other city, Houston, Texas is number one on the list. There are a variety of reasons that Houston is the worst city in terms of burglaries. The combination of high crime rate, ease of access and a police department under pressure to cover such an expansive area has led to burglaries becoming epidemic in this city.
2. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is famous for a great many things, but the crime rate has not been one that the citizens of this city are proud to let others know about. Gang violence is certainly a contributing factor, but Chicago suffers from many of the same issues that plague other large cities as well, including a police department that is also stretched to the limits.
3. Dallas, Texas
While separated by about a four hour drive, Dallas suffers from many of the same conditions that plague Houston, but not quite to the same extent. Dallas is also a very large city in terms of size and the difficulty to adequately cover it with police protection is one reason burglaries are up. The Dallas/Fort Worth area is extremely large compared to many other cities of similar population.
4. Phoenix, Arizona
Gang-related crime is certainly a big factor in the number of burglaries that plague the city. Plus, the police force is becoming taxed to handle the fast rising population which has expanded the city tremendously over the past few decades. Phoenix has become one of the largest cities in the US and as a result, the crime rate in terms of burglaries has risen dramatically over the years.
5. New York, New York
In the city that never sleeps, the burglary rate is still quite high and taxes the police force in covering the crime that happens on a daily basis. In fairness, the crackdown on crime in the past two decades has actually helped to lower the overall crime rate which stands at a fraction compared to other, similar cities such as Chicago. But the burglary rate in New York is still very high indeed.
6. Los Angeles, California
A combination of drugs, gang-related crime and a taxed police force has added up to a high burglary rate for this city. Traditionally, Los Angeles has been a haven for crime in the past several decades, but in other areas the crime rate has stabilized or even dropped depending on the category. For those living in Los Angeles, just like any other major city, burglaries are prevalent in certain areas.
7. Detroit, Michigan
The one-time crime capital has dropped on the list in recent years due to a combination of poor economic conditions and a struggling auto industry. The result is a city that once numbered over 2 million people has now dropped to roughly 700,000. City services, especially in terms of police presence has also dropped rapidly, but the truth is that there are just fewer occupied residences to burglarize which is mostly responsible for the drop.
8. San Antonio, Texas
The third city from Texas in the list suffers from conditions similar to what plagues Houston and Dallas. A sharp rise in population growth combined with stretched police resources has resulted in a rise in burglaries. While Texas has some of the most open gun laws in the country, allowing people a wide latitude in protecting themselves and their property, many of these burglaries are committed when the residents are not at home.
9. Columbus, Ohio
Inner city crime combined with struggling economic times has put a strain on police forces in this city. The result is a crime rate that is potent, although not nearly as dramatic as those nearer the top of the list. Columbus has taken measures to address burglaries like all other major cities in the US, but the issue of burglaries is still a difficult one.
10. Indianapolis, Indiana
The final city on our list is also one that has grown in recent years, suffers from pocket of gang-related crime and a separation of more affluent, protected areas from poorer, less protected places in the city. The sharp rise in the population has contributed to the higher crime rate, though in fairness it is not nearly the same situation as faces cities such as Houston or Chicago.
In fairness to all the cities that are listed in this article, it must be pointed out that the overall crime rate which includes murder has remained stable or has even dropped in many cities in the past two decades. In fact, the overall murder rate in the US is roughly half what it was in 1980.
Still, with burglaries on the rise, taking protection in the form of insurance is the only sure way to protect any potential losses. While homeowners should check with their insurance companies, those who rent can apply for Renters Insurance which will provide the protection they need in case they get burglarized.