a. Burglary is unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. This includes unlawful entry with intent to commit a larceny or felony; breaking and entering with intent to commit a larceny; housebreaking; safecracking; and all attempts to commit any of the aforementioned. (Count one offense per each distinct operation)
There are three categories of burglary:
- Forcible Entry: All offenses where force of any kind is used to unlawfully enter a structure for the purpose of committing a theft or felony. Entry through the use of tools; breaking or forcing windows, doors, transom or ventilators; cutting screens, walls or roofs, and if known use of master keys, picks unauthorized keys, celluloid, a mechanical contrivance such as a pass or skeleton key or any device that leaves no outward mark but forces a lock. Include concealment inside a building followed by exiting the structure.
- Unlawful Entry - No Force: Entry by use of an unlocked door or window. Includes thefts from open garages, open warehouses, open or unlocked dwellings, and open or unlocked common basement areas where entry is someone other than the lawful tenant.
- Attempted Forcible Entry: Forcible entry is attempted, but not complete
An incident must meet three conditions to be classified as a burglary:
- There must be evidence of unlawful entry (trespass). Both forcible entry and unlawful entry -- no force is counted.
- The unlawful entry must occur within a structure, which is defined as having four walls, a roof, and a door.
- The unlawful entry into a structure must show evidence that the entry was made in order to commit a felony or theft. If the intent was not to commit a felony or theft, or if the intent cannot be determined, the proper classification is Larceny.
The FBI UCR Office has recently clarified what they mean in the “conditions” 1. and 3. above regarding the word “evidence”. They stated that they do NOT mean PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. “EVIDENCE” to the FBI UCR Office means “THE FACTS OF THE CASE”–Agencies are required to consider the facts of the case as described by the victim and the information obtained in the subsequent preliminary investigation or full investigation, if there is one.
- Count one offense per distinct operation
- Only count crimes meeting UCR definition
- Count one offense for each residence, dorm room or structure if more than one was entered
- Burglaries in Suites: Each bedroom in a student housing facility suite is considered a separate dwelling. Count the Burglary of four bedrooms and the common room in a suite during a single incident as five burglaries
- Do NOT count more than one offense per academic/ administrative building regardless of the number of classroom or offices entered, unless the offenses are not committed at the same time and place and the time interval and distance between offenses is significant
- Do NOT count offenses based on local law classification or institutional policy definitions
Key Questions to ask at the scene of a theft that occurs in a structure on campus:
- Were there signs of forcible entry?
- Was the victim’s space (room/office) locked?
- Was the building in a locked or secured mode when the theft occurred?
- Does it appear that someone defeated the locking mechanism or unlawfully used a master key to enter the space?
- In a suite in a residential facility -- how many rooms were entered?
- When is the last time the victim saw the property?
- When did victim notice the property missing?
Examples of Burglary
- Scenario 1: A room in an on-campus dormitory is broken into and a laptop is stolen by a student living down the hall. Because the student unlawfully entered the room, include this as one on-campus Burglary and one on-campus student housing facility Burglary.
- Scenario 2: A student living in an on-campus dormitory invites another student into her room. The invited student takes a ring from the top of a dresser when the owner leaves to use the restroom. Because the perpetrator was invited into the room, there is no element of trespass. Do not include this incident in your Clery Act statistics because it is a Larceny.
- Scenario 3: A perpetrator enters five on-campus dorm rooms without permission on the same night looking to steal money. He takes a wallet from one room, but takes nothing from the other four rooms. Include this as five Burglaries in both the on-campus category and on-campus student housing facility category.
- Scenario 4: Someone enters an unlocked dorm room on campus and steals a student’s wallet. Investigation determines that the student’s roommate did not take the wallet. Because no one else had lawful access to the dorm room at the time the wallet was taken, it had to have been taken by someone who did not have lawful access. Include this as one on-campus Burglary and one on-campus student housing facility Burglary.
- Scenario 5: A patient in a hospital room in an on-campus medical center reports a stolen watch. Police investigate and cannot determine who took the watch. Because there is no evidence that someone unlawfully entered the room to steal the watch, this is a Larceny. Do not include this incident in your Clery Act statistics.
- Scenario 6: A school is bordered by a municipal parking garage that has four walls, a roof and a door. Parking is allowed by permit only. Someone without a permit enters the garage and steals a GPS from a car. Include this as one public property Burglary.
- Scenario 7: A school is bordered by a parking garage that has four walls, a roof and a door. Anyone who pays can park there. Someone enters the garage and steals a GPS from a car. Because the garage has open access there was no element of trespass. Do not include this incident in your Clery Act statistics because it is a Larceny.
- Scenario 8: After his team practice session a member of the football team breaks into the locker of a teammate and takes his wallet. Because a locker is not a structure, this is a Larceny. Do not include this incident in your Clery Act statistics.
- Scenario 9: A member of the football team climbs through an open window in the campus gym after hours and then breaks into a teammate’s locker looking for drugs. He leaves empty-handed. Because the perpetrator trespassed into the gym with the intention of stealing drugs, include this as one on-campus Burglary.
- Scenario 10: A maintenance worker with a work order uses his keys to enter an on-campus office to fix an air conditioner, and while he is there he decides to steal a laptop. This incident is a Larceny because the maintenance worker had a right to be in the office at the time of the theft. Do not include this incident in your Clery Act statistics.
- Scenario 11: A maintenance worker without a work order uses his keys to enter a locked on-campus office to search for something to steal. Include this as one on-campus Burglary because the maintenance worker did not have a right to be in the office at the time of the theft. He unlawfully entered the office with the intent to steal something. (Because the intent was to steal something, it’s a Burglary even if the maintenance worker leaves empty-handed.