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Property Crime

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Definition   

In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.  The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims.  The property crime category includes arson because the offense involves the destruction of property; however, arson victims may be subjected to force.  Because of limited participation and varying collection procedures by local law enforcement agencies, only limited data are available for arson.  Arson statistics are included in trend, clearance, and arrest tables throughout Crime in the United States, but they are not included in any estimated volume data.  The arson section in this report provides more information on that offense.

Data collection                 

The data presented in Crime in the United States reflect the Hierarchy Rule, which requires that only the most serious offense in a multiple-offense criminal incident be counted.  In descending order of severity, the violent crimes are murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, followed by the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.  Although arson is also a property crime, the Hierarchy Rule does not apply to the offense of arson.  In cases in which an arson occurs in conjunction with another violent or property crime, both crimes are reported.

Overview     

  • In 2011, there were an estimated 9,063,173 property crime offenses in the nation.
  • The 2-year trend showed that property crime decreased 0.5 percent in 2011 compared with the 2010 estimate.  The 5-year trend, comparing 2011 data with that of 2007, showed an 8.3 percent drop in property crime.
  • In 2011, the rate of property crime was estimated at 2,908.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, a 1.3 percent decrease when compared with the rate in 2010.  The 2011 property crime rate was 11.2 percent lower than the 2007 rate and 19.9 percent below the 2002 rate.  (See Tables 1 and 1A.)
  • Larceny-theft accounted for 68.0 percent of all property crimes in 2011.  Burglary accounted for 24.1 percent and motor vehicle theft for 7.9 percent.  (Based on Table 1.)
  • Property crimes in 2011 resulted in losses estimated at $15.6 billion.  (Based on Tables 1 and 23.)

Property crime offense figure

What you won't find on this page

Clearance and arrest data for property crimes.