Is Houston the Worst City in America for Burglaries? Probably

Categories: Crime

burglary-stats.jpg
Burglaries per year in Houston since 2000.
There you were feeling pretty damn good about yourself when you read the Brookings Institution found that Houston had the best economy in the country. You puffed your chest out, retweeted and shared posts on Facebook to all your yankee cousins. "Looky here," you said with a sense of pride, "Now, what do you have to say about my awesome city?" It was a moment of glory, of achievement and finally a chance to rub some great news about our oft-belittled city on all your smug friends around the U.S. Well, son, the party's over.

According to a report from SimpliSafe.com, a home security system company (natch), Houston has more burglaries than any other city in America...based on 2011 statistics from the FBI. "But, wait," you cry, "that's last year. Surely, we've improved." We have, slightly -- and stop calling me Shirley -- and we are improving, but we're probably still the worst.

In 2011, Houston had 27,459 reported burglaries. That bested Chicago's 26,420, the only other city to have more than 20,00 burglaries in 2011. That ain't good. In 2012, the numbers have improved slightly, however.

Through October, there were 22,187 burglaries reported in Houston, and if you average the number of reported burglaries in November and December the last three years and add it to the total, you get a projected number of 27,194. That's a projected drop of 265 or about 22 per month. Given we are one of only two cities with close to this number of break-ins in 2011, it's safe to assume we'll remain in the top spot for 2012.

The good news is that since 2007, the numbers have been improving somewhat, but not a lot. You can see on the graph that burglaries have been in decline for the last couple years, but have remained in the mid-20,000 range since 2001.

The somewhat better news is that while we may rank highly in burglaries, we don't in violent crime. So, while thieves may be stealing your stuff, at least it -- in general -- isn't your life.

My Voice Nation Help
12 comments
quintah
quintah

Surveys like this don't generally take into account variables like unreported crimes and the representation of the size of the cities. For instance, crime in cities may go unreported due to the fact that citizens are aware that nothing will be done. It is a fruitless effort to report a crime if nothing will be done to recoup the stolen wares or prevent future theft. I give you for example a city like Detroit, living in Mad-Max times (jk) where crime is rampant in this down economy. Another example is NYC where theft is very common, but rarely reported. Try finding your stolen ipod in a city of more than 8 million souls.That moves me to my second point, the size of a metro area can really skew some of these numbers as some cities have relatively large metro areas (Houston for example), while others have much smaller areas. When reports like this tally all crimes in a given metro area behemoth metro areas like Houston's suffer.

Jim Costello
Jim Costello

I've lived in 14 states...robbed once in Nevada...but Houston has been brutal. Two cars stolen, five different window smash and grabs, bikes, golf clubs, baby stroller, anything not chained down basically. AND I have had two business burgrlaries and one home burglary. Cops are way overburdened to do much about it. sheeshhh

SecureOurBorderNow
SecureOurBorderNow

Of course a sanctuary city close to the border is going to have more burglaries...it's a given.

H_e_x
H_e_x

@SecureOurBorderNow Damn straight. All the crime in Detroit is a direct result of its proximity to Canada. When will the sheeple wake up to the Canadian threat?!?!?!?

H_e_x
H_e_x

@SgtStedenko There are many more millions of illegal Canadians, they just blend in by hiding their "soirys" and "aboots." Until the Canadian threat is taken care of (big ass electric fence guarded by bears with lasers on their heads),

Anse
Anse

As of 2010, El Paso had 312.8 burglaries per 100,000 residents (stats from the FBI). Even snooty whitebread Plano had more (444.6 per 100,000). Among cities with populations above a quarter million, only New York had fewer (215 per 100,000).  The list I saw had 9.1 per 100K in Sacramento, but I'm assuming that's a typo.

SgtStedenko
SgtStedenko

There aren't 12 million illegal alien Canadians here. Connect those dots.

H_e_x
H_e_x

@SecureOurBorderNow @H_e_x Detroit has a larger crime problem than Houston, and it right by the Canadian border. I don't think I need to connect the dots.

Anse
Anse

And yet El Paso is ranked one of the safest cities in America...in fact several of the country's lowest violent crime rates can be found in towns on the American side of the southern border.

What strikes me about this is the fact that Houstonians, and Texans generally, own a lot of guns. And we like to use them. We also like our Castle Doctrine...and yet it doesn't appear to discourage burglaries. Go figure.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...