By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
Elected officials and criminals both know to not let a good crisis go to waste. Granted, some people might opine that there isn’t really a difference between those two groups, but that’s for another time.
A number of jurisdictions nationwide are reporting an increase in burglaries during this period of isolation. Therefore, it’s a good idea to remain vigilant whilst sheltering in place.
You’d figure that the thieves would follow social distancing orders and act in both their own as well as the common interest, and just stay home. It’s absolutely selfish to be out at a time like this burgling. However, criminals are going to criminal regardless, as neither rain nor snow nor dark of night nor threat of infection will keep them from their criminal activities.
Granted, the increases aren’t necessarily uniform in all jurisdictions in terms of frequency, type or any other aspect, so make sure to have a look at any reported increases in your area to see if there is one occurring, and what the general trend appears to be.
In some areas, the increase in burglaries is commercial, other areas are a mix of commercial and residential, and some areas may be experiencing a rise of residential burglaries.
For instance, a rise in commercial burglaries have been reported in Albuquerque, N.M, according to the Albuquerque Journal, while other crime has actually decreased. Commercial burglaries have also risen in New York City, according to the Wall Street Journal, with some shops having taken to boarding up storefronts to combat the thefts in March.
Denver, CO, has also reported a steep rise in commercial burglaries targeting marijuana dispensaries, according to the Denver Post, which were deemed essential businesses (some people use for medicinal purposes, after all) and allowed to remain open. The Denver Post did not report whether or not there was an increase in calls to all those Papa John’s franchises that Peyton Manning bought.
However, other jurisdictions are also reporting a rise in burglaries targeting homes or cars as well.
New York City, according to the Wall Street Journal, has also reported a rise in motor vehicle thefts, as have a number of other cities.
Spikes in residential burglaries have also been noted across the county, in places like Boulder, CO, according to TheDenverChannel, West Palm Beach, FL, according to WPTV, and Spokane, WA, according to KREM.
However, there are a few common threads to be aware of.
Burglars are opportunistic by nature and some are more brazen than others. A common thread is that the places targeted for burglary tend to be more likely to lack an occupant than others. Residential burglaries reported by the above sources (when the information is given) indicate that what burglars are targeting more often in residential areas tend to be garages, especially if left open.
KREM however did report that more than 50 percent of homes burglarized in and around Spokane, WA, were occupied at the time, so not all burglars are necessarily phased by the potential of being caught.
Therefore, what are some takeaways from this?
First, just because everyone is supposed to stay in doesn’t necessarily mean that it deters the malefactors of society. Just because the sheep are penned in doesn’t mean the wolves aren’t still out there.
Second, do what you can to minimize your home or business as a target. Lock up what you can, and keep an eye out if there is an increase in burglary or theft in your area.
Make sure that your garage is locked if you aren’t in it. Some garages have more than one exterior door, so take sure to ensure that they are securely locked and shut. That may not stop a determined enough burglar – they are known to break down doors – but it can stop the ones that are just looking for an easy score.
If you keep your car on the street, don’t keep any valuables in it and make sure it’s securely locked up. If possible, park it in an easily visible location.
Home invasions and many categories of violent crimes don’t appear to be increasing. (Domestic violence, however, is.) So it’s not so much that armed intruders are going around, but more that petty thieves are being a little more brazen about getting into businesses and homes that are easily accessed.
A little vigilance can go a long way.
Stay safe out there, and now go wash your hands.
Sam Hoober is a Contributing Editor to AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.