Property crimes make up slightly over 75% of all crimes committed in the United States of America and burglaries constitute approximately 25% of those figures. The average loss of a home burglary is about $ 1,725 and 70% of all burglaries were committed in homes. A curious and perhaps interesting fact is that most burglaries occurred during the daytime, at between 6 am and 6 pm, which is contrary to common belief that burglaries happen at night. Most burglars (34%) entered through the front door (12% of burglaries are due to unlocked doors) because people are careless, too trusting or plainly not security conscious. In the U.S., a burglary happens every 15 seconds and burglars spend on average just 8-12 minutes inside the burgled home (FBI, n.d., p. 1). These crime statistics are certainly very alarming and the next logical question to ask is what is being done about it by the concerned authorities?Burglaries are crimes against property and may merit a lower focus of attention from law enforcement authorities who are sometimes stretched to the limit due to constraints to the resources available to them. Nevertheless, most residential burglaries went unsolved with low solution and conviction rates. The figures show only 8.2% of reported cases had resulted in arrests and a dismally 3.2% of referred cases producing a conviction (Baskin and Sommers, 2011, p. 70). These low figures should be a big reason for concern because it affords criminal persons the opportunity to become repeat offenders.
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This paper examines the role of forensic evidence with regards to the crime of home burglaries. Research on the role of forensic evidence in solving residential burglaries showed it has little or no impact at all on the actual criminal case outcomes…
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