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We previously discussed the FBI's crime report on the states with the highest rates of violent crime. But what about property crime?
According to the FBI's annual Crime in the United States report -- which compiles criminal data under the Uniform Crime Reporting program from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico -- the nation experienced a decrease in property crimes in 2012.
Here are the 10 states with the highest -- and lowest -- rates of property crime, according to the FBI's data:
Highest Rates of Property Crime
- Washington, D.C.: 4,860.8 property crimes per 100,000 inhabitants (Note: Statistics for Washington, D.C., include offenses reported by the Zoological Police and the Metro Transit Police).
- South Carolina: 3,822.2.
- Arkansas: 3,660.1.
- Washington: 3,658.6.
- New Mexico: 3,600.7.
- Louisiana: 3,540.6.
- Arizona: 3,539.2.
- Alabama: 3,502.2.
- Georgia: 3,410.6.
- Oklahoma: 3,401.
As for a few big states, California (2,758.7 property crimes per 100,000 inhabitants), Florida (3,276.7), and Texas (3,361.8) didn't lag too far behind.
Lowest Rates of Property Crime
- Puerto Rico: 1,409.3 property crimes per 100,000 inhabitants.
- New York: 1,922 (Note: Because of changes in the state/local agency's reporting practices, the FBI advises that this figure isn't comparable to previous years' data).
- Idaho: 1,983.5.
- North Dakota: 2,010.1.
- New Jersey: 2,047.3.
- South Dakota: 2,060.1.
- Connecticut: 2,140.
- Massachusetts: 2,153.
- Virginia: 2,162.1.
- Pennsylvania: 2,166.3.
Accuracy of Data
But before you grab your sunscreen and take off for Puerto Rico, remember that the survey only accounts for crimes reported to police. Historically, fewer than half of all crimes are actually reported, according to The Associated Press.
Readers should also keep in mind that the FBI's crime reporting program is only one of two statistical measures of crime levels issued by the Justice Department. The other measure, the National Crime Victimization Survey, is designed to capture crime data whether it is reported to police or not. That survey is based on interviews of crime victims.
Considering Washington, D.C., topped the violent crime list as well, it's probably your best bet to keep a close eye on your property there -- from a safe distance.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.