Tracking Offender Residence and Crime Locations: An Analysis of Auto Theft Data in a Northeastern City

Marissa Potchak, Rutgers University
Jean M. McGloin, Rutgers University
Kristen Zgoba, Rutgers University

Advancements in GIS technology have prompted researchers to return focus to environmental characteristics and crime. However, with any analytical procedure, preliminary hypothesizing and theorizing lend necessary guidance to the process of empirical investigation. Some researchers have suggested that offenders do not venture far from their point of residence to commit crime. Using this as a theoretical framework, we investigated auto theft data in a large east coast cite in the year 2000. Mapping software not only allowed us to visually display the points of residence, points of theft, and points of recovery, but also to gauge the distance between these points, and to investigate possible networks of travel between them. After reviewing the findings, we will discuss them within the context of current literature.

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Updated 05/20/2006