Analyze a Crime Series

Project description
Theories of Crime Analysis
Assignment: Analyze a Crime Series

Read/review the following resources for this activity:

Santos: Chapters 8, 9, 10, and 11

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Boba Santos,Rachel. Crime analysis with crime mapping (3rd. ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA:
Sage, 2013. ISBN 1452202710

Lecture Notes for Unit 5
Product examples (Available in Course Documents)
Tactical analysis focuses on crime patterns€”most often crime series (two or more crimes involving the same offender. In the analysis phase, we try to figure out the crucial elements of the series, usually represented in terms of its commonalities. A commercial burglary series might be defined by the offender’s method of entry (via rooftop), the type of location he targets (drug stores), what he steals (painkillers), or all three. We see commonalities in offenders’ descriptions, the times they choose to strike, the specific locations and types of locations, the targets they prefer, and numerous other factors. By identifying these common factors, we can help create solutions to the series. If the offender likes to target liquor stores, we can warn liquor stores. If he always strikes on Friday night in a particular parking lot, we can have undercover officers staking out that parking lot. If he has a unique description (e.g., a facial tattoo), we can search for known offenders with that description.

Sometimes, the important factors of a series are right on the surface. For instance, if several witnesses say that the offender in a residential burglary series drives a green pickup truck, we’ll be sure to note that in the bulletin, and officers can look for suspicious green pickup trucks. Other times, the important factors are hiIDen, and we have to infer them from the available data. For instance, if the offender in a residential burglary series steals a couple of 55-inch plasma TVs, we can be pretty sure that he’s driving some kind of vehicle to the crime scenes, even if no witness describes him.

In this assignment, you’ll analyze a series of six incidents and try to identify its important commonalities.

Activity Instructions
In the resources for this week, you’ll find a PDF file containing six street robberies that occurred in California. Based on these reports, do the following:

1. Create a matrix out of the six incidents, like the one on Pages 143 or 165 of the Santos book. You can use a Word document, an Excel spreadsheet, or a hand-drawn (and scanned) matrix€“whatever you prefer. As field headers, include what you think are the important elements of the series. Use the sample matrices in the book as a guide.

2. Now read the six cases carefully. What are the most important commonalities among them? What’s notable about the different factors in the series? What do they suggest about the offender and where he might strike next? What implications do they have for solving the series? Consider factors on the surface but also what you can infer from those factors. Use any outside sources that you can think of to answer your questions.

In terms of what factors to consider, use the information from the Santos chapters as well as the sample tactical crime analysis products to give you hints.

Writing Requirements (APA format)

3-pages (approx. 300 words per page), not including title page, references page, or images and figures
1-inch margins
Double spaced
12-point Times New Roman or comparable font
Title page with topic and name of student
References page for all references cited in the paper (if any)

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