Crime Motivation

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In February 2013, three men, under 20 years of age, broke into a laundromat in the small town of Attalla, Alabama. They caused over $14,000 in damages and stole $55 worth of coins from the coin operated machines. One suspect has been arrested and police were still attempting to locate the other two. (GadsdenTimes.com, 2013)

According to the FBI Universal Crime Report (UCR), burglaries in the South Region of the United States declined from 2011 – 2012, but in cities of less than 10,000 residents there was an increase. Attalla, Alabama lies within the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area and has a population of just over 6,000 placing it within the aforementioned statistical area for populations of less than 10,000. The UCR reports that nationwide burglary rates had a very small increase for the reporting period in 2012. (Universal Crime Report, 2012) The UCR also indicates that the majority of burglaries committed in the U.S. during the reporting period of 2012, involved forcible entry, as was the case with the Attalla laundromat break-in. The Attalla break in also fits with UCR data that indicates the majority of burglaries are committed by males.

The article does not specifically discuss the motive for the crime. Reporting indicates that the coin operated machines were damaged after the suspects pried them open to steal the coins. A total of $55 was taken so the assumption can be made that a motive for the crime would be theft. The suspects were all under the age of 20 and it was reported that they were under the influence of drugs. This particular incident, along with the profile of the suspects, fits the Mike Maguire, low-level burglar category. Maquire theorizes that low-level burglars are most often juveniles and commit crimes “on the spur of the moment.” (Schmalleger, 2009). Another motivation could be that the suspects were looking for ways to fund their drug habits.

There are no clear connections between the type of crime and the location of the...
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