Common Crimes that Occur Around the Holidays
The holiday season notoriously sees a rise in certain kinds of crime. Researchers believe that the rise in crime is primarily due to an increase in alcohol consumption, an increase in stress, and an increase in opportunity. If you or a loved one is arrested for a crime, you need to contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney immediately.
The most common crimes during the holidays generally involve some kind of assault, theft, or alcohol-related offense. The following are the top 10 reasons people get arrested between Thanksgiving and New Year’s:
- Drunk Driving – The S. Department of Transportation estimates that an average of 300 people die in drunk driving crashes each year between Christmas and New Year’s. An increase in the number of travelers on the road and an increase in the amount of alcohol consumed has led law enforcement to increase the number of patrols throughout the holiday season.
- Burglary – During the holiday season, many people travel to see friends and family leaving their property vacant. An unattended home is a prime target for residential burglary. While property crimes are highest during the summer, the holiday season is not far behind.
With the significant uptick in online shopping, package theft is also a huge problem during the holidays. According to CBS News, millions of holiday packages are stolen each year.
- Shoplifting – Retailers often see an increase in theft during the holidays. The pressure to provide gifts for family and friends can be overwhelming, which may lead an otherwise law-abiding citizen to take drastic measures. In other cases, retail theft during the holidays is purely out of the increased opportunity. More shoppers mean overwhelmed staff and security.
- Domestic Violence. While the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence sees a decline in the number of domestic violence related calls during the holiday season, a large number of domestic violence arrests still occur.
- Vehicle Break-Ins. According to reporting by Fox San Antonio, the holidays are ripe for vehicle break-ins. Theft from a vehicle is a common occurrence when people leave valuables unattended and within sight.
- Counterfeiting – The U.S. Secret Service has issued a nationwide alert regarding an increase in counterfeit money being used as retailers across the country. Operation Quick Glance gives people an inside look at the “motion picture money” being used to fool unsuspecting business owners and consumers.
- Identity Theft. According to Experian, 43% of holiday shopping identity theft occurs online. Free shipping has changed the way many consumers shop. A survey conducted by Experian shows that nearly half of shoppers do most of their holiday shopping online. While convenient, it also makes consumers vulnerable to having their information stolen.
- Personal Larceny. The National Crime Victimization Survey indicates that personal larceny increases by about 20 percent during December. Shopping alone, carrying armfuls of packages and having a large amount of money on hand may all contribute to the surge.
- Shopping Scams. S. News and World Report warns online consumers of some of the most common scams used during the holidays, including sham order confirmations, bogus shipping notices, shady email scams, and cloned websites.
- Decoration Vandalism. Holiday decorations are a prime target for vandals. Millions of people have holiday decorations stolen or vandalized each year. With the growth of doorbell videos and outdoor surveillance, more people are being arrested for this crime each year.
If you are arrested during the holiday season, you need legal representation. No matter what the circumstances of your case, an attorney can help. Board-Certified Criminal Defense Attorney James Alston understands that a conviction can ruin your entire life and may jeopardize your freedom. He will fight hard to protect your rights and your freedom. Contact James Alston Law today for more information on holiday-related crimes or for a case evaluation.