Criminology | Section 7.4


Fundamentals of Criminology

Adam J. McKee, Ph.D.

Scott D. Bransford, Ph.D.


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Clarke’s Hot Products

Some products are stolen much more than others.  Obviously, some products attract the attention of thieves much more than others: cash, jewelry, and small electronic goods.

Clarke’s C.R.A.V.E.D. Model

Hot products tend to be:

  • Concealable
  • Removable
  • Available
  • Valuable
  • Enjoyable
  • Disposable

Concealable and Removable:  A common car is easier to steal than an odd one—a Roles Royce is hard to hide in most places!  Cash and Jewelry are easy to hide on one’s person.  Light televisions are easier to steal than heavier models—how many 60-inch big screens are stolen?

Valuable:  Value depends on whom you ask.  Most crimes are committed most often by young men.  Popular CDs may be stolen—but not Beethoven CDs. Things stolen from a rural convenience store: change, beer, cigarettes, candy, knives Old style station wagons are almost never stolen—a young man wouldn’t be caught dead in one.

Some items are very ‘hot’ because they solve all six problems:  Cash, Jewelry, Small electronic Devices, and hand tools are examples.

Hot Products and Settings

Hot products are affected by the settings that contain them.  Access—the ability of an offender to get to the target and then away from the scene of the crime.  With enough effort, every offender can get to every target—a crime proof setting is impossible If prisoners can get out of prison, then criminals can get into your house.

Criminals are Lazy

The idea of crime is to get things the easy way, acquiring few skills and applying little effort over a short time. Easy access is essential for normal crime. Daily activity can generate crime Risk: flashing cash, showing too many people your valuable property, parking a shiny new car close to the street.  The maker of your car can have a significant impact on insurance prices—insurance companies know certain models are hot targets!

Motivation is a Factor

  • A “joyrider” takes a trip for fun, picking a flashy fun car.
  • A “traveler” chooses almost any car that’s convenient and drives where he wants to go.
  • A felon steals a car to perform another crime, picking a fast model.
  • A “parts chopper” selects a common model three to five years old for which parts are in demand.
  • A “shipper” takes luxury cars to sell abroad.

As motives shift, so do targets.

Heavy Items

Washers, dryers, dishwashers, and the like are sometimes stolen from rural homes, vacation homes, and construction sites.  Pickup trucks are a common tool in these situations.  As a general rule, the weight of stolen goods increases the further you get from a city.

Transportation is a Factor

Inside a city, burglars are more likely to work on foot, doing best to carry off cash and jewelry. In the suburbs, more use cars and can remove televisions and other electronic goods. In rural areas, when the guardians are away, pickups make stealing even the heaviest items feasible.

Heavier items are also stolen when wheels provide a getaway.  Cars, motorcycles, and mopeds are often stolen.  Bicycles are often stolen on college campuses and in countries where it is a common form of transportation.

Modification History

File Created:  08/04/2018

Last Modified:  08/05/2018

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This work is licensed under an Open Educational Resource-Quality Master Source (OER-QMS) License.

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