THE UNEXPECTED

What do Motley, Waite Park, Isle, Bemidji and West St. Paul all have in common? They are the five worst cities in the state of Minnesota for property crime.  Ouch. That's a bummer. These kind of crimes include arson, car theft, and burglary. Violet crimes that involve threats are not considered property crime.

That being said, places like Motley and other cities that have a tiny population, are going to sort of have higher crime rates the way the study was conducted, so maybe it's not as bad as you think in those areas.

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HOW DOES MINNESOTA STACK UP AGAINST THE REST OF THE US?

The good news is that Minnesota's property crime rates are lower than the national average, by just 1% percent.  A new study that was conducted by safehome.org says that if you live in Minnesota, your chances of being a victim of property crime in the next year are at 2.08%.  Those odds make me feel even better about living in Minnesota.

HOW DO WE COMPARE TO OUR NEIGHBORS?

I was feeling pretty good about the 2.08%, until I realized that our crime rate is actually higher than every single one of our neighbors. On top of that, Wisconsin is probably going to rub it in our face that THEY have the lowest rate in the Midwest. The biggest factors of property crime  typically include poverty and unemployment, and urbanization. That tells me that most people that commit these crimes are desperate. I feel like we need to work on fixing that.

More good news overall. Property crime rates have dropped in the US for the past 10 years to 27 percent. Minnesota isn't quite that high, being at 19%, but we've still had a decline, and any decline in my book is a step in the right direction.

So how do you protect yourself from being a victim of property crime? Having outdoor lights with motion sensors, putting your lights on timers, and making sure that your doors are locked when you are home and away can help. Also make sure that all of your entries into your home are well lit.

Have open communication with your neighbors to keep an eye out for each other and report any suspicious behavior, or start a neighborhood watch team.

 

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