Friday, July 23, 2010

Crime Wave! Well, It Could be Worse

Several computers, television sets, and a video game set were stolen from three homes on the north side of Loonfoot Lake this week. You've probably read about it already, on the front page.

It's cold comfort to the folks whose property was stolen: but that sort of thing isn't all that common around here.

Loonfoot Falls isn't a crime-free zone. Each week the "Police Blotter" column records some number of traffic stops, loud parties, or other disturbances of the peace. But the theft of property totaling well into four figures is unusual.

What's really embarrassing is that the victims were folks who live in Loonfoot Falls on weekends, but have places in the Cities for weekday living. Which helps explains why it took a while for someone to notice the thefts. The weekend retreats being secluded didn't help either, I think. Still, I feel like we let neighbors down.

That crime cluster reminded me of something I ran across, about five years ago, about crime in rural America. The article made it sound like folks who took vacations in rural America were visiting a hotbed of crime. After a little checking, it turns out that the (comparatively) high-crime areas were around ski resorts.

A little more digging, and I found out that rural areas have less crime because we've got fewer people. No surprise there. Then, there's the per capita crime rate. Back in the mid-nineties, it was lower out here: less than half what it was in metropolitan areas.

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