US federal law defines burglary as the illegal entry into a building with the intention of committing a crime or felony. Of all crimes committed in the United States annually, the majority are related to property theft and larceny.
Burglary is a major and common type of property crime. Millions of American citizens suffer from the social, emotional, physical, and financial effects of a household break-in or robbery every year.
If you live in an area that’s badly affected by high burglary rates, it’s essential that you invest in an effective home security system to protect your valuables and keep your family safe.
Top 10 States with the Highest Burglary Rates
Of the 50 states, 20 had a burglary rate of over 350 incidents per 100,000 people in 2019. Here’s a breakdown of the 10 states with the highest proportion of burglaries that year.
Statistics show that as of 2019, the highest burglary rate of any state in the US was New Mexico, with 696.8 break-ins and robberies for every 100,000 citizens. This figure is almost twice the national average of 340.5 burglaries per 100,000 residents. However, in the last few years, increasingly more state citizens are investing in high-quality home security systems, so the overall property crime rate has decreased.
The Sooner State has a burglary rate that’s only slightly lower than New Mexico’s, with 671.7 incidents for every 100,000 people. Burglaries made up nearly 25% of all non-violent crimes in Oklahoma in 2019. Of all the break-ins that were reported during that year, 33% happened during the daytime while just over 28% occurred at night. The times of the other burglaries were not explicitly reported.
Mississippi had the third-highest burglary rate of all the US states in 2019, at 627 for every 100,000 habitants. The poorest state in America also has a murder rate that’s twice as high as the national average, with 11 murders per 100,000 residents in the previous year.
In 2019, this south American state had a rate of 599.6 for every 100,000 residents. Arkansas also has a bleak record when it comes to vehicle theft and stealing statistics: over 2,000 thefts are committed per 100,000 people every year, while 246 cars are stolen from their rightful owners annually.
In 2018, South Carolina was ranked as one of the top 5 most violent states in the country, with 488.3 serious crimes committed for every 100,000 residents. The burglary rate in 2019 was 533.4, and the most dangerous city in the state was Greenwood.
Alabama has the seventh-highest burglary rate on this list, with 531.9 break-ins and property crimes committed per 100,000 state citizens. In 2018, this state’s violent crime rate was higher than South Carolina, with just under 520 physical assaults and battery offenses recorded for every 100,000 people.
The burglary statistics in 2019 showed that North Carolina was the eighth most dangerous state in the country when it comes to property crime and break-ins, with 519.1 burglaries committed per 100,000 residents. However, this state’s annual violent crime rate was relatively close to the national average of 380.6 in 2018, making it a safer place to live than some of the other options on this list.
In 2019, this western state had a relatively steep burglary rate of 503.5 crimes committed for every 100,000 habitants. Statistically, Nevada’s safest cities are Dyer, Yerington, and Incline Village, although the state’s violent crime rate of 494 per 100,000 people is higher than the national average.
In 2018, Alaska had the highest rate of all the states when it came to aggravated assault cases, with a dire violent crime rate of 885 incidents reported per 100,000 people. This state is also in the nationwide top 10 ranking for burglaries committed, with an annual rate of 487.1.
Useful Ways to Protect Yourself Against Burglaries
These statistics can make for grim reading, but it’s important to remember that there are a number of ways in which you can protect yourself against burglaries and property theft.
Invest in a home security system
One way to protect your property from thieves and criminals is to invest in a home security system. This type of system works as a network of in-sync and interconnected electronic security devices that monitor parts of your house and alert you if someone tries to break in.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend lots of money on a decent home security system. You can pay a small monthly fee to install an alarm-based system that constantly scans and surveys your house. You can also invest in a DIY security solution, where you pay a small initial fee for basic equipment, and then you can install these devices yourself.
When you’re choosing a home security system, make sure you’re getting a product that includes door and window sensors, security cameras, alarms, and interior motion sensors. It’s also useful to pay a bit extra for a window sticker that tells thieves that your house has an integrated security system. This deters them from breaking into your home.
Invest in a home security system
A high-quality, comprehensive home insurance or renters policy will protect you in the event of an emergency, relieving the financial impact of losing your valuables during a burglary. This policy reimburses you for the cost of anything that’s been stolen, including expensive electronic devices and essential identity documentation. Your home insurance policy should cover any costs required to repair or replace your windows, walls, and doors after the event of a break-in.
When it comes to burglary rates, the top 10 states display chilling statistics that are far higher than the national average. Whether you live in these particular places or not, it’s useful to invest in a home security system and a comprehensive insurance plan so that you can prevent yourself from becoming another victim of property theft and vandalism.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keith Morris is a 20+ year veteran of the security game, with the knowledge and experience to set you on the right track toward personal safety and security. His firm is committed to giving you the tools and know-how to combat any threat to your safety.
calvin fellows // Security Expert
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