There was a rather depressing story over at the Austin, Texas Public Radio station KUT that looked at Austin PD's low clearance rate for burglaries.
...APD is only able to solve eight percent of its property crime cases. That rate has improved, somewhat. Two years ago, the clearance rate was five percent. The national average is 12 percent.Via KUT
I'm not posting this to pick on APD. Even in the sleepy little burg where I work we've had our share of lackluster property crime numbers in the past. In fact, if you look at the clearance rates for Uniform Crime Report Property Crimes nationwide you will see that the numbers are almost as depressing.
These are very difficult crimes to solve. In fact, it's likely more cost effective to prevent them before they occur than it is to solve them after the fact. Of course successful prevention is not just the responsibility of the police.
Getting the public to protect themselves is often difficult. Just this week I was reading a report where someone had their car stolen as they left it running in the driveway to warm up. This is Texas and it was 50F degrees that morning. Really? Just how warm does you car need to be before you leave for work.