Most types of crime seem to be falling as jurisdictions across the country order residents to stay at home. But auto thefts and burglaries are reportedly on the rise in some areas of the country as criminals take advantage of isolated people and closed businesses all doing their part to stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
New York City has experienced a drop in most types of crime since the city's residents were ordered to stay at home. The New York Police Department's seven major crimes fell 36 percent overall in the week of March 23-29 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to the city’s CompStat figures. The two exceptions were burglary and grand larceny auto. Burglaries in New York City were up around 22 percent in March compared to the same month the previous year.
Vehicle thefts are up 47 percent in St. Louis, Missouri, according to University of Missouri-St. Louis Criminologist Rick Rosenfeld, while most other types of crime have fallen.
Restaurants around the country are reportedly experiencing break-ins while contending with mandatory shutdowns.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports an uptick of burglaries in the city, following Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home executive order. In the seven day period ending March 24, there were 320 property crimes reported. During the same period the previous two years, there were an average of 285 cases. The Tribune reports the increase is due primarily to an increase in the number of auto thefts. Burglaries of businesses are also making up a larger share of reported crimes, as businesses deemed nonessential have been ordered to close. Robberies in Minneapolis are up as well.
In an interview with Breitbart Texas, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says burglaries in the city are up 20 percent since stay-at-home orders were issued in Harris County. Chief Acevedo is concerned about habitual criminals now being released by the county following an order from County Judge Lina Hidalgo.
Burglaries are also on the rise in West Palm Beach County, Florida, according to State Attorney Dave Aronberg. Elsewhere in Florida, Collier County sheriff deputies are reporting a surge in the number of car burglaries.
"We have seen an uptick in the number of burglaries because, unfortunately, some people are trying to take advantage of others during this time of crisis," Aronberg told WPTV 5's Merris Badcock.
"They should know that if you commit a burglary during a state of emergency like this, there is an enhancer penalty applied to it," Aronberg said. "The third-degree felony becomes a second-degree felony, and a second-degree felony becomes a first-degree felony. That's a big difference."
While law-abiding individuals are following stay-at-home orders, criminals are freely roaming the streets breaking into cars and closed businesses. This coronavirus should remind everyone why gun control policies could never work.