Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Tammy L. Anderson
Crimes against property have been a central concern in many societies and cultures throughout history. In the United States, the term property crime typically refers to the criminal offenses of burglary, larceny, fraud, embezzlement, forgery, motor vehicle theft, and arson (Inciardi 1998). Other less known property crimes include pickpocketing, counterfeiting, and shoplifting (a type of larceny). Since the range of activities included in the property crime definition is vast, the term should be viewed as a representation of offenses that describe material-based criminality in society. In other words, the focus is on crimes against property, not persons. Legal definitions of property crime and the government agencies that collect and publish data on it tend to focus mainly on burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson. The two leading data collection agencies in the United States are the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the ...