I spent a dreary December morn neglecting my family and looking at crime statistics. Specifically, the data compiled by the good folks in the Virginia State Police’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
In my search for holiday cheer, I found an interesting stat about robberies. Apparently December has more robberies than any other month. There was a whopping 24% increase from the month of Jan 2016 compared to December of the same year (522 compared to 394). There was a steady uptick from October to December. Robbers were far less productive during all the other months of the year.
Another interesting stat was the time of day that robberies occur. By far, most happened between 8 and 10 pm (806 total for the year) while way fewer happened between 6 and 8 am (112). Looks like morning’s a neglected market window for robbers (...rise and grind ya bish).
I’m struggling to find a good theory as to why the holidays bring out the worst (or, productivity-wise, the best) in robbers. You’d think that summer would have more because so many people are out popping cold ones into the late hours. Also, it’s common knowledge that Santa doesn’t track naughty list data until Nov. 1. So why do people turn into Don Cheadle in The Family Man when December rolls around?
A couple theories that I just made up are:
• It’s an anomaly with no significance. (Dec, Oct, Nov were at the top of the heap w similar numbers in 2014 but the trend, while still present, was less pronounced in 2015. There’s stats for 1999 to 2013 but I didn’t look at those numbers because... you know... lazy.)
• Holiday time leads to financial stress and desperation and robbery is a crime of financial desperation. Sounds like a thing(?)
• Less police presence during the winter months.
• Commercialism is at an all-time high which, coupled with Michael Buble, makes people act horribly.
I’d be interested to hear other theories. Or perhaps a comprehensive analysis that includes nationwide stats and well thought out ideas. I briefly tried the FBI website but it was useless for monthly analyses…however, it was surprisingly cool for annual stats. Another thing of note is that December trends for other violent crimes (rape, murder, assault, etc.) aren’t particularly noteworthy. Kidnappers in particular become exceptionally docile in December.
So that’s it. Anyone who thinks I should’ve made a Wet Bandits/Home Alone reference fails to realize that the Wet Bandits were burglars and not robbers. Their MO was clearly to enter unoccupied houses. I doubt they would’ve even attempted physical force or threat against Kevin until he shot Joe Pesci in the junk. It became a twisted game of one-upmanship after that point more than anything else.
Anyway, Merry Christmas …I mean Happy Holidays. Full disrespect to Donald Trump for manufacturing holiday controversies. 🎄