Wednesday, 02 January 2019 14:10

FBI report: North Carolina ranks in Top 10 "Grinch" states

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FBI report: North Carolina ranks in Top 10 "Grinch" states Image courtesy of Pixabay

While they may not literally “steal Christmas” per se, “Grinches” seem to be alive and well across the country during the holiday season — especially in the Carolinas.  

Data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program  indicates that, in most states, December thievery is significantly accelerated in comparison to other times of the year.

The United States experienced a loss of more than  $116 million as a result of more than 90,000 incidents of reported shoplifting and similar thefts in 2016 (the most recent set of data available). UCRP categories for larceny include gas station thefts and related occurrences where money and/or property were stolen in a manner consistent with the definition of “shoplifting” (i.e., miscellaneous pilfering from retail stores).

While  property crime is rampant during the holiday season, some states saw substantially more significant increases in theft  around Christmas than others. As measured by the percentage of a state’s total annual theft that occurs during December, the worst states range from 28 percent to 1 percent. They are, in order: Nevada; South Carolina; Delaware; Texas; Hawaii; California; North Carolina; Massachusetts; Virginia; and Rhode Island.

The UCRP data reveal that, as one of the 10 worst states for Christmas season theft, North Carolina experienced a 16 percent  increase in theft over the holiday period. Specifically, more than $496,000 worth of money and/or property was stolen in our state during December 2016. This equates to approximately twice the “expected” rate (8.5 percent) of all annual theft in the state ($3 million). 

As a comparison, Nevada and South Carolina are even worse. No less than 28 percent and 25 percent,  respectively, of all annual theft (as measured by value rather than the number of incidents) in those states occurred in December.   

At the opposite extreme, the “best” states in this list were South Dakota, Oregon and West Virginia, where December shoplifting was actually less than in other months of the year.