Look at the seven types of crime patterns in Chapter 9 of the textbook.
Research crimes (preferably in the local news). Select crime stories that correspond to each of the crime patterns.
Explain how each crime fits that specific crime pattern type; cite sources to support analysis.
How could the information about the crime, as well as what you know about the crime pattern, be used to solve the crime?
If a crime in the stories has already been solved, how was the information about the crime and the crime pattern used to solve it?
What kind of leads can you deduce from each one of the crimes?
If any of the stories you are analyzing involves multiple crimes, what common characteristics do they share?
Crime Pattern Chart
Tactical data is essential in crime analysis, as it helps crime analysts identify crime patterns, and use them to solve multiple cases. There are seven types of crime patterns that crime analysts mainly rely on to solve cases. Using crime patterns and investigative leads, crime analysts have in the past, examined multiple criminal offenses at a given time and place, and identified commonalities that helped solve the cases.
Among the most common crime patterns used by crime analysts to solve cases are: series, hot place, and hot product. Series is characterized by similar crimes believed to be committed by the same person (Santos, 2016). Hot place is a group of crimes thought to have been committed by the same individual at the same location, while hot product is a group of crimes that are committed by the same individual, targeting a specific product or property (Santos, 2016). The Salisbury case, which involved three pharmacy robberies in February and November 2012, fits in the three patterns of crime (“Hurlock Man Connected”, 2012). Notably, the crimes were committed by the same individual, a white male culprit, Jason Hall, in the same location, pharmacies located in Salisbury, targeting a specific product, oxycontin.
Hot spot is also a commonly used pattern for identifying and solving crimes. This pattern refers to, a group of similar crimes thought to have been committed by the same individual at locations within close proximity (Santos, 2016). An example of a crime that fits this description is the Salisbury home invasion, where two suspects were wanted in connection with home invasions in two buildings within West Road (Parsons, 2012). The fact that the two suspects were believed to have committed the two crimes that occurred in proximity, within West Road, makes the crimes hot spot.
Furthermore, hot setting, and spree are also commonly used crime patterns in crime analysis. Hot setting is a group of crimes committed by the same individual, and are related by the type of place where the crimes occur, while spree is a series of crimes characterized by a high frequency of criminal activity within a very short time frame (Santos, 2016). The theft from vehicles in parking lots in Port St. Lucie, Florida, fit under the category of spree since they occurred at a high frequency, on Friday at 9.25 a.m., Saturday 4 p.m., and 4.45 p.m. (McCloud, 2019). Furthermore, the crimes were committed at public parking lots, a common feature of a hot setting.
In all the identified crimes, information, and pattern of the events were used to solve the cases. For instance, by collecting tactical data about crimes that occurred within the same location, the police were able to interview witnesses, and get commonalities of the perpetrators of the crime. This information was then used to develop a modus operandi that members of the public, and other law enforcers utilized to trace and identify the suspects.
Apart from analyzing patterns, identifying investigative leads is also a crucial step that helps crime analysts clear a case. Some of the investigative leads that can be deduced from the case scenarios include the date, time, and location where a crime occurred. For instance, in the crime involving theft from vehicles at public parking lots, the date, time, and location where the crime occurred could have been used as a lead to solve the crime. The developed investigative leads are used to link the crime to the identified suspects.
Santos, R.B. (2016). Crime analysis with crime mapping (4th ed.). New York, NY: Sage Publications Inc.
“Hurlock man connected to three pharmacy robberies: Unsolved crimes remain” (2012, March 7). WBOC. Retrieved from http://www.wboc.com/story/17095482/hurlock-man-connected-to-three-pharmacy-robberies-unsolved-crimes-remain
Parsons, K. (2012, June 6). 2 sought in Salisbury home invasion. WBOC. Retrieved from http://www.wboc.com/story/18574193/2-sought-in-salisbury-home-invasion
McCloud, C. (2019, May 22). Car windows smashed in broad daylight in Port St. Lucie parking lots. TC Palm. Retrieved from https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/crime/st-lucie-county/2019/05/22/car-windows-smashed-during-daytime-hours-port-st-lucie-parking-lots/3765125002/