The most common types of property crime in Massachusetts are larceny and fraud.  They rank in at numbers 1 and 2 respectively according to the most recent statistics from 2020.  Massachusetts had a total of 57,831 reported larceny cases, and 53,725 reported fraud cases.

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Larceny is theft of personal property.  It could be items stolen from inside your vehicle, items stolen from your front porch, a bike stolen from your back yard, etc.  Fraud includes crimes such as wire fraud, credit card fraud, identity fraud, and so on.  The reason fraud is included in property crimes is the ultimate goal of most fraud is to target your money…hence it’s a property crime.

Since these crimes are so common in Massachusetts, I thought it might be a good idea to go over some tips on how to prevent them.  Obviously, nothing is guaranteed, but following these tips will at least put you at less risk of being the victim of larceny or fraud.

-Lock your doors!  I know, it’s a super basic tip, but regardless of where you live, it’s a good habit to get into of locking both your home and car doors.  Something as simple as that will discourage a large amount of would-be thieves.

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-Don’t hang your purse over the back of your seat!  For example, if you’re dining out (especially outside in the good weather), don’t hang your purse over the back of your chair.  A good thief or pickpocket will have no trouble getting what they need, or just run off with it.  Always keep it closed, and leave it under the table next to your feet.

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-Don’t leave your electronics unlock and unattended!  This goes from work to writing an article at a coffee shop.  Keep your phone with you and keep your laptop locked when you’re away.

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-Use a lock on a locker.  For example, if you’re changing at the gym, get a lock and keep your stuff secure.

-For fraud specifically, don’t give out your passwords or other personal information!  Don’t fall for phishing scams.  Remember, federal agencies like the IRS will ALWAYS contact you by mail, and never ask for personal information over the phone or in your email.  Likewise, businesses and banks will never ask for your password in an email.  If you ever have questions or feel uneasy, hang up and call the business yourself.

Sadly, we live in a world where we do have to watch our backs often, so follow these tips and stay safe!

For general MA crime stats:  Massachusetts Crime Statistics (state.ma.us)

For Pittsfield specifically:  CityStat – Pittsfield Police Department (pittsfieldpd.org)

 

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