Using Patterns to Predict Crimes

blogpostWe have all heard that humans are creatures of habit. We like certain pillows when we sleep, we always drive the same route to work, maybe even have the same breakfast to start each day. Now it seems that our predictable nature is aiding law enforcement in predicting criminal activity, with the notion that past behavior creates a pattern for future plans.

In Madison, Wisconsin, crime analyst Caleb Klebig predicted a bank robbery last week that left the local police officers amazed with its accuracy. Klebig analyzed recent robberies in the area and shared five possible banks that he believed would be the location of the next strike and even suggested the day of the week and time of day at which the robbery would occur. Turns out, he was right! Detectives at the targeted shopping area were able to apprehend the suspect, Scottie T. Patterson, who admitted to being behind the other robberies that Klebig had examined to establish the pattern.

Obviously, most police departments cannot station officers at every possible location that fit aspects of a crime trend in the area. But as technology becomes more sophisticated and we are able to gain even more insight to how a perpetrator’s crime pattern is unfolding, officers can focus limited resources on just a few reliably pinpointed locations.

I love these examples of human instincts and hi-tech problem solving working together with the potential of making our neighborhoods safer. I don’t know if we will ever able to state with certainty, “The Safeway on Main Street will be robbed on Thursday at 3:27pm,” but it will be interesting to see where the crime-predicting effort goes.

Maybe Emily Stone needs to pair up with someone who has this type of analytic ability in a future novel . . .


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About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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1 Response to Using Patterns to Predict Crimes

  1. Crime solved before it happens… not too much drama in that, perhaps. But suppose the opposite – supose the criminals get in on the same act, and start to use similar patterns and predictive technologies to avoid detection when planning their crimes!

    – Mel


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