Examining the Micro Environment With GIS Technology: Testing Target Selection Preferences of Commercial Burglars

Gisela Bichler-Robertson, California State University
Melissa Johnson, New Jersey State Police

Studies of commercial burglary find that environmental cues significantly influence target selection; isolation from activity and residential dwellings, proximity to capable guardians, rear accessibility, business type, and visible security measures, consistently appear to be important factors affecting target choice. Building on "Hot Block Analysis" (Brantingham and Brantingham, 2000) and the "Blended Appraoch" (Bichler-Robertson and Johnson) this study contributes to this body of literature by introdicing a unique methodology to test the importance of these factors. The two-tiered approach uses Geographic Information System technology to identify crime concentration at the community-level and then, site analysis permits examination of these environmental cues at the contextual level. Using test sites in California and New Jersey, this research found only partial support for target selection factors identified in prior research.

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Updated 05/20/2006