The force recently created a special undercover investigation team called the Pro-Act Unit, which works to build cases against criminals who repeatedly commit property crimes, including car prowls and car thefts. Since 2005, the department has also supported a full-time specialist who collaborates with other King County agencies to track break-ins and look for trends.The whole article is a good one and is worth the read. I also think the the idea of taking as they put it, a "holistic" approach to problem crimes is the right way to tackle these problems.
Detectives use a cross-jurisdiction database to look for trends in location, method of break-in and other details, Bove said. The ultimate goal, he said, is to take a more holistic approach to solving these crimes by looking for repeat offenders and establishing connections between property crimes and other types of offenses, especially those that are drug related.
“It’s one of those things where you make (one) arrest, a lot of dominoes start to fall,” he said.
Another point to gather from this article is that certain crimes such as this, also tend to be part of another larger crime. In this case, a thief smashing a car window to get access to the purse left on the seat, was in furtherance of another, probably larger crime, credit card abuse. By combatting the initial crime, vehicle burglary, they would also prevent the secondary and probably larger crime, the credit card abuse.
What crime problems in your jurisdiction would lend itself to a holistic approach?