" FBI statistics show easily pawned consoles, handhelds
prove popular targets for thieves, with more than 40,000 systems
reported stolen so far this year.
Games have been a hot holiday item for years, but data recently released by the FBI and reported on by USA Today
suggests that "hot" could mean stolen as much as popular. Over the past
three years, reported thefts of game hardware have nearly quadrupled,
according to FBI statistics.
2009, the FBI National Crime Information Center has 42,615 reported
thefts on file, up from 21,732 in 2008 and 11,074 in 2007. While crime
is a year-round enterprise, the holiday season typically sees a spike
in thefts, an FBI agent told the paper.
"Criminals are rational. They steal things that have high
value, are easily transportable, and easily sold," University of
Massachusetts-Lowell criminologist Larry J. Siegel told USA Today. "The most expensive thing in my house is my refrigerator, but nobody is trying to steal my refrigerator."
While game system thefts saw the largest jump of any category of
electronics percentagewise, other high-end tech toys are still more
popular targets for crooks. Laptop thefts have jumped from 96,834 in
2007 to 128,280 this year, while reports of stolen TVs surged from
27,176 to 78,227 over the same span. While some electronics theft is on
the rise, overall property crime has actually decreased in recent
years." - Brendan Sinclair, GameSpot