If you’re feeling really political, you can read the freshly released Crime in South Dakota 2014 report and blame Governor Dennis Daugaard for a 66.7% jump in murder. But there were only 20 murders all year, so that’s an awfully small sample from which to draw any conclusion.
More serious offenses (“Group A” offenses) increased 5.4% in 2014, while less serious offenses (“Group B”) declined 2.2%. Perhaps more Group A and less Group B indicates a faintly admirable manly streak among our bandits who have decided that if they going to go outlaw, they’re going to go big.
That said, only 34% of thefts involved forced entry. Two thirds of the time, thieves are just grabbing stuff they don’t have to work very hard for. Lazy bums!
Here are the ten most popular Group A crimes for 2014:
|All Other Larceny||5,727|
|Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property||4,832|
|Drug Equipment Violations||4,532|
|Burglary/Breaking and Entering||2,560|
|Theft from Motor Vehicle||1,788|
|Theft from Building||1,349|
I’ve got to include #11, the only other crime reaching quadruple digits: Impersonation! Would that be like Chad Haber impersonating a Libertarian?
The report tallies where crimes happen. As you’d expect, lots of offenses take place in stores (shoplifting), parking lots (vandalism, theft, drugs), and roads (more drug busts). But the most crime-riddled locale is home sweet home. 16,448 Group A offenses, 37.4% of the Group A total (which AG Jackley’s people incorrectly label a majority rather than a plurality) took place in somebody’s house. Only 45 crimes happened at South Dakota’s beaches, only 26 at abandoned or condemned structures (who needs to clear blight?), and only 14 at homeless shelters and missions.
Criminals used firearms in 532 Group A offenses. They used “personal weapons”—hands, feet… maybe heads for head-butts?—in 4,841 Group A offenses. Firearms were used in 13 murders; personal weapons, 6. Poison was used in only one offense, an aggravated assault (alas, no creative plots by the KGB).
Bicycle bandits heisted $148K worth of two-wheelers. Car thieves swiped $4.76M worth of autos. The cops managed to recover 58% of stolen cars but only 27% of stolen bicycles. Hmmm… work in volume, banditos, and you could keep more of your profits from swiping bicycles!
Out of $18.8 million in total stolen property, law enforcement recovered just 23%. The best recovery rate came in bus theft: someone stole a $5,000 bus, and the cops got that bus back. (Think about it: the bigger your loot, the harder it is to hide.)
Of course, when it comes to all these crime, men are stupid. Males committed 70.0% of all Group A offenses. Male offenders outnumbered females in every category. The closest the ladies came to parity was in prostitution, where the state counted 25 offenses by women and 27 offenses by men.
I should be careful of my language in that last paragraph. American Indians make up 8.9% of South Dakota’s population. American Indians were busted for 27.2% of South Dakota’s crimes. African Americans make up 1.9% of South Dakota’s population. African Americans committed 6.9% of crimes here. We white folks committed 54% of 2014’s crimes in South Dakota.