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According to a national survey of crime, unlawful entry without force (no-force burglary) is the most common type of residential burglary in the United States; each year incidents of this type account for hundreds of millions of dollars of cash and property loss. Unlawful entries without force are characterized by an absence of any visual signs of force, and, for a variety of reasons, are seldom reported to local authorities. This paper presents findings from the National Crime Survey, an ongoing survey of approximately 60 000 households across America. The analysis focuses upon such situational characteristics as time of occurrence, method of entry, and type and value of goods stolen. Results tend to confirm findings which show that many residential burglaries are crimes of opportunity committed by inexperienced offenders, some of whom might have been deterred if minimal security measures had been taken.
residential burglary, household security, unlawful entry without force (no-force burglary), theft losses, crime prevention, victimization, crimes of opportunity, National Crime Survey, building security
Survey statistician, Center for Demographic Studies, Crime Statistics Analysis Office, Bureau of the Census, Hillcrest Heights, Md.