Property crimes are criminal activities where properties are the main target of offenders. According to Santon (2017), these crimes tend to have a similar crime pattern analysis such as commercial burglary, auto theft, and residential burglary. In this case, the crime presented of four commercial arsons occurring throughout the city in which a man was observed leaving the stores with jewelry immediately after the fire alarm was pulled can be classified as a commercial burglary crime under property crimes. The majority of property crimes involve vandalism or theft of valuable goods as well as destruction of the same.
As noted in most cases, witnesses are usually not present, crime analysts usually have little to no information concerning the suspect. Thus, analysts will tend to use identifiable patterns such as the proximity of incidents, the type of crime – classified as commercial or residential burglary -, and the type of settings in which the crime occurs – apartments or office buildings. According to Santon (2017), the crime patterns identified under property crimes include sprees, hot settings, hot spots, and hot products. The four commercial arsons committed throughout the city with the association of jewelry burglary are classified under hot product crime patterns.
The process of pattern identification enables law enforcement personnel to come up with the appropriate response measures and to address crimes occurring within their jurisdiction. All police response efforts revolve around arresting the suspect and deterring future offenders. In the current case, a sting or bait operation would be the most appropriate response procedure. According to Santos (2017), under such a response, a police unit would set up bait by directly monitoring areas that have been targeted for a particular crime and then being on site to make the arrest.
Police officers would seek to record the perpetrators and catch them in the cat so that they have sufficient material that can be produced in a court of law as part of the prosecutor’s evidence. The sting operation could be combined with surveillance efforts, which is a process that involves police officers watching and waiting in a designated area, in order to make an arrest at the crime scene (Santos, 2017). Police officers could predict the next possible destination of the robber and set up camp in an attempt to arrest them.
Santos, R. B. (2017). Crime analysis with crime mapping (4th ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE. Chapter 10.