Monday, May 2, 2011

Why Does Texas Lead The Nation In Mailbox Thefts?

This is an odd one: A story in this weekend's Fort Worth Star Telegram indicates that Texas leads the nation in thefts of mail from mailboxes. From the story:
Three hundred thefts from blue boxes were reported nationwide last year. Two hundred were in Texas; 34 were in California. 
Of the 10 pages of a spreadsheet provided to me by the postal inspectors who investigate these crimes, seven pages related to Texas boxes. 
Fort Worth had 45 reported thefts last year. Arlington had 28, Dallas 25, Houston 20, San Antonio 13, Grand Prairie 10 and Austin none. 
Fort Worth had 1 of 7 of all mailbox thefts in the nation.
While this seems a bit odd on the surface, it's probably not too unusual. If a criminal discovers a modus operandi (M.O.) that works for him, eventually that knowledge will be communicated with those in his social circle. Another criminal in his social circle may also begin to use this same M.O. and so forth. Eventually, you might get quite a little crew operating with nearly the same M.O. in a geographic area.

The reason that an M.O. might not spread to other areas is that the specific environmental conditions that make this M.O. successful in one area may not be present in another area. It is also possible that there are other types of crimes in those other areas that are more attractive to those criminals.

If nothing else it is kind of a fun exercise in speculation to wonder why Texas crooks seem so much more partial to thefts of mail from mailboxes.

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