Burglary is classified as a property crime for the purposes of state and national crime statistics. However, sometimes someone is at home during a burglary, and these crimes are not as simple to classify.
In some states, these incidents may be classified as robberies, but other states have home invasion laws on the books and classify these incidents as such. The limited number of states that use the term "home invasion" in their state laws include intent of the offender as part of the definition. In other words, the home invasion offender broke in with the expectation of someone being present, or with the intent to commit a violent crime.
Data on home invasion-type burglaries must be pieced together from various sources, but there are some national statistics on burglaries that take place when the victim's home is occupied, and there are lessons to be learned from them. Information in this article is taken from downloadable spreadsheets compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau* and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Here are some national stats about home invasions:
Based on state-by-state data from 2009, the states with the highest burglary rates per 100,000 residents were:
Based on the same data from 2009, the states with the lowest burglary rates were:
No community is immune to burglary, but you can do quite a bit to help protect your home with overall home security. Simple awareness and commitment to locking all doors and windows consistently is the foundation of good home security. Physical security measures, such as high-quality deadbolt locks and window locks, add another layer of security.
Home security systems are another way increasing numbers of homeowners are helping prevent burglary. Homes equipped with home security systems are two times less likely to be broken into than homes that do not have systems. Fortunately, violence during burglaries is rare. Take measures to help prevent burglary and you further reduce your chances of becoming the victim of violence during a break-in.
Burglar Alarms and the Choice Behavior of Burglars: A Suburban Phenomenon; 1993; George F. Rengert; Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University.