Holiday burglaries spike more in NJ than any other state, study says
Using data from the FBI's Crime Data Explorer, the home services marketplace Porch found burglaries are 59% higher in December in New Jersey than the average of the other 11 months of the year.
Not only that, the 2022 America's Holiday Burglary Hotspots study said, but the Garden State's December rate increase surpassed that of any other state by nearly 20%, followed far behind by Pennsylvania and Illinois with a 40% spike each.
What's more, the Atlantic City-Hammonton metro registered the highest increase of any area measured in the study: 120% more break-ins in December versus an average month.
That again was far more than the second-place metro area, Prescott Valley-Prescott, Az., where burglaries increase by 71% in December.
In third place was Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Il.-In.-Wi., which Porch noted contains Winnetka, Il, where the holiday burglary staple "Home Alone" was set and filmed.
Porch offered a speculative reason for why New Jersey's numbers spike in the winter: "perhaps because its beach homes are sitting empty."
Nationwide, about 5,000 homes were burglarized either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day in 2021, according to Porch's FBI data, part of about 83,000 burglaries in the final month of the year out of a total of close to 1 million annually.
The average value of stolen items in December in New Jersey is $2,901. Jewelry and precious metals led the list of items most commonly stolen across the country.
Porch did say that although porch pirating may be more common in New Jersey during the holidays, the nationwide trend of home burglaries has been declining for four decades.
Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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