The median dollar value of items and cash stolen during completed household burglaries increased 54 percent from 1994 to 2011, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The median financial loss during completed burglaries in 1994 was $389 (adjusted for inflation), compared to $600 in 2011. The average dollar loss in 2011 among households that lost $1 or more was about $2,120.
Completed household burglary includes entry to a residence with force or entry without force by someone having no legal right to be on the premises.
From 1994 to 2011, the rate of all burglaries (attempted and completed) decreased 56 percent, from a peak of 63.4 to 27.6 victimizations per 1,000 U.S. households. The number of burglaries experienced by U.S. households declined 47 percent, from about 6.4 million burglaries in 1994 to about 3.4 million in 2011.
Among all completed burglaries, those involving the theft of an electronic device or household appliance increased from 28 percent in 2001 to 34 percent in 2011. From 1994 to 2011, the largest percentage of completed burglaries consistently involved the theft of personal items (such as clothing, furs, luggage, briefcases, jewelry, watches and keys) and appliances or electronics (such as TVs, DVD players, and portable electronic devices).
Of completed burglaries reported to police, the police were more likely to come when notified, take a report, gather evidence, or promise an investigation or surveillance in 2011 compared to 1994. A similar percentage of reported burglaries resulted in an arrest in 1994 (eight percent) and 2011 (10 percent).
From 1994 to 2011, the rate of completed burglary declined across most of the U.S. household characteristics that were examined. However, some types of U.S. households experienced a greater percentage decline in burglary than others. The greatest declines occurred among households in urban areas (down 63 percent), those headed by Hispanics (down 67 percent), and those with an income of $75,000 or more (down 74 percent).
The report, Household Burglary, 1994-2011 (NCJ 241754), is at http://www.bjs.gov/.