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NCJ Number: 219576 Find in a Library
Title: Community Structural Predictors of Spatially Aggregated Motor Vehicle Theft Rates: Do They Replicate?
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:35  Issue:3  Dated:May/June 2007  Pages:297-311
Author(s): Jeffrey A. Walsh; Ralph B. Taylor
Date Published: May 2007
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Compared with previous studies of motor vehicle theft (MVT) rates, this study was designed to provide a more precise estimate of the influence of nearby MVT rates and community characteristics on a given community's MVT rate.
Abstract: The study found that community socioeconomic status (SES) and nearby MVT rates were the only two consistently significant community structural predictors of MVT rates. Communities with low SES had higher MVT rates, as did those with high MVT rates in nearby communities. This suggests that attributes, events, and long-term trends in sections of a city may be influencing MVT rates. These findings differed from earlier similar studies, which have suggested other structural correlates of MVT rates; for example, Copes (1999) found that the percentage of young males and the percentage of multiple-housing units were significant predictors of MVT rates. Rice and Smith (2002) found that the number of African-Americans in a community was a significant predictor of MVT. Gilliam and Damphousse (2000) found that residential instability was significantly related to MVT. The relevance of these additional community parameters beyond SES may have emerged because these studies failed to fully control for nearby MVT rates. It is also possible that the different findings in previous studies could be due to different levels of aggregation, different locations, different demographics, and/or data from different times. The MVT incident report data for January 1, 1990 through December 31, 2001 (n=10,439 MVTs) were provided by a medium-size midwestern city police department. The data included the address of the location from which the vehicle was stolen. The period of 12 years was chosen because it corresponded to the two most recent decennial U.S. Census Bureau surveys (1990 and 2000) and allowed for a thorough analysis of MVT over the decade. 7 tables, 8 notes, and 62 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime displacement; Motor Vehicle Theft; Socioeconomic causes of delinquency; Socioeconomic development
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