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Holidays bring spike in crime in Indianapolis, what's behind it?

Posted at 7:04 AM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 12:36:28-05

INDIANAPOLIS — While it’s the season of giving, some people are taking instead.

Over the last couple of years, crime has spiked during the holiday season. While crime has decreased overall in the city over the past year, the holiday crime spike isn’t new.

Call 6 Investigates obtained crime data and police reports in Marion County for the past two years. While it shows overall crime, especially violent crime, is down from last year. But year after year, there is a steady spike in both years of robberies and burglaries during the months of November and December.

  • From Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 12, 2018 – 2,602 police reports filed for robbery
  • From Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 12, 2017 – 3,261 police reports filed for robbery
  • From Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 12, 2018 –  6,701 police reports filed for burglary
  • From Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 12, 2017 – 7,737 police reports filed for burglary

When it comes to armed robberies of businesses, IMPD provided the following statistics to RTV6.

  • From Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 1, 2018 – 438 business robberies
  • From Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 1, 2017 – 432 business robberies

So what’s behind the spike around the holiday season? IMPD says there is no easy answer, because each robbery or burglary is different. But many are rooted behind people needing more money in the holiday season, whether it's for gifts, or just to afford the heating bill.

Police also say it is sometimes a crime of opportunity and the holidays, as well as the cold, often make people an easy target.

“You’re more bundled up, people have hats on, your ears are covered, your hands are covered, you might not be paying attention to what's going on,” IMPD Officer Genae Cook said.

Police say also more people are out shopping and businesses often have more money on hand because of holiday shopping, which can also make them an easy target.

Police also tell RTV6 that burglaries and thefts also spike because of the rise of online shopping and the number of boxes that are left on porches of homes across the city. They also say, a Christmas tree with presents underneath can also be a prime target for criminals.

Check out the five tips below from HouseLogic to keep the Grinch from ruining your Christmas this year. 

  1. Keep your "check-ins" in check
  1. Remember to lock your door
  1. Don't give vandals a chance to act
  1. Deny easy access to the garage
  1. Display the tree, not the gifts