BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Burglary
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Burglary is defined as unlawful or forcible entry or attempted entry of a residence. This crime usually, but not always, involves theft. The illegal entry may be by force, such as breaking a window or slashing a screen, or may be without force by entering through an unlocked door or an open window. As long as the person entering has no legal right to be present in the structure a burglary has occurred. Furthermore, the structure need not be the house itself for a burglary to take place; illegal entry of a garage, shed, or any other structure on the premises also constitutes household burglary. If breaking and entering occurs in a hotel or vacation residence, it is still classified as a burglary for the household whose member or members were staying there at the time the entry occurred. 

There are four types of burglary:

  • Completed burglary - A form of burglary in which a person who has no legal right to be present in the structure successfully gains entry to a residence, by use of force, or without force.
  • Forcible entry - A form of completed burglary in which force is used to gain entry to a residence. Some examples include breaking a window or slashing a screen.
  • Unlawful entry without force - A form of completed burglary committed by someone having no legal right to be on the premises, even though no force is used.
  • Attempted forcible entry - A form of burglary in which force is used in an attempt to gain entry.

Publications & Products


Criminal Victimization, 2014 Presents 2014 estimates of rates and levels of criminal victimization in the United States.
  Press Release | PDF (745KB) | ASCII file (42KB) | Comma Separated Values (CSV) (Zip format)
Part of the Criminal Victimization Series

Household Burglary, 1994-2011 Presents rates and trends in household burglary from 1993 to 2011. The report explores overall trends in household burglary and examines patterns in completed household burglary by type and value of items stolen, percentage of burglaries reported to the police and insurance companies, and police response.
  Press Release | PDF (1.1M) | ASCII file (13K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 23K)

Household Burglary, 1994-2011 FINANCIAL LOSS DUE TO HOUSEHOLD BURGLARY INCREASED FROM 1994 TO 2011
  Press Release

Firearms Stolen during Household Burglaries and Other Property Crimes, 2005-2010 Presents findings on the theft of firearms during household burglaries and other property crimes from 2005 through 2010.
  Press Release | PDF (632K) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 46K)

Criminal Victimization, 2009 Presents the annual estimates of rates and levels of violent crime (rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault), property crime (burglary, motor vehicle theft, and property theft), and personal theft (pocket picking and purse snatching).
  Press Release | PDF (420K) | ASCII file (24K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 23K)
Part of the Criminal Victimization Series

Victimization During Household Burglary Presents findings from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) on the characteristics of burglary, with comparisons between households where members were present and not present.
  Press Release | Acrobat file (PDF 352K) | ASCII file (31K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 25K)

Victimization During Household Burglary Presents findings from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) on the characteristics of burglary, with comparisons between households where members were present and not present.
  Press Release

Criminal Victimization in the United States -- Statistical Tables, 2006 Presents tables with detailed data on major variables measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
  Complete set of tables (PDF 1.4M) | Complete set of tables - Zip format (Spreadsheet 157K) | Demography of victims (PDF 336K) | Demography of victims - Zip format (Spreadsheet 38K) | Victims and offenders (PDF 321K) | Victims and offenders - Zip format (Spreadsheet 37K) | The crime event (PDF 239K) | The crime event - Zip format (Spreadsheet 46K) | Victims and the criminal justice system (PDF 315K) | Victims and the criminal justice system - Zip format (Spreadsheet 32K) | Series victimizations (PDF 96K) | Series victimizations - Zip format (Spreadsheet 5K) | Methodology (PDF 74K) | Methodology (ASCII file 47K) | NCVS questionnaires | Codebooks and Datasets
Part of the Criminal Victimization in the United States Series

Criminal Victimization in the United States -- Statistical Tables, 2005 Presents tables with detailed data on major variables measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
  Complete set of tables (PDF 723K) | Complete set of tables - Zip format (Spreadsheet 152K) | Demography of victims (PDF 221K) | Demography of victims - Zip format (Spreadsheet 59K) | Victims and offenders (PDF 217K) | Victims and offenders - Zip format (Spreadsheet 57K) | Geography (PDF 174K) | Geography - Zip format (Spreadsheet 29K) | The crime event (PDF 243K) | The crime event - Zip format (Spreadsheet 73K) | Victims and the criminal justice system (PDF 206K) | Victims and the criminal justice system - Zip format (Spreadsheet 47K) | Series victimizations (PDF 128K) | Series victimizations - Zip format (Spreadsheet 4K) | Methodology (PDF 49K) | Methodology (ASCII file 47K) | NCVS questionnaires | Codebooks and Datasets
Part of the Criminal Victimization in the United States Series

Criminal Victimization in the United States -- Statistical Tables, 2004 Presents tables with detailed data on major variables measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
  Complete set of tables (PDF 786K) | Complete set of tables (Spreadsheet 136K) | Demography of victims (PDF 390K) | Demography of victims - Zip format (Spreadsheet 34K) | Victims and offenders (PDF 380K) | Victims and offenders - Zip format (Spreadsheet 31K) | Geography (PDF 333K) | Geography - Zip format (Spreadsheet 18K) | The crime event (PDF 198K) | The crime event - Zip format (Spreadsheet 40K) | Victims and the criminal justice system (PDF 166K) | Victims and the criminal justice system - Zip format (Spreadsheet 27K) | Series victimizations (PDF 84K) | Series victimizations - Ziip format (Spreadsheet 8K) | Methodology (PDF 49K) | Methodology (ASCII file 47K) | NCVS questionnaires | Codebooks and Datasets
Part of the Criminal Victimization in the United States Series

Terms & Definitions

Burglary Unlawful or forcible entry or attempted entry of a residence. This crime usually, but not always, involves theft. The illegal entry may be by force, such as breaking a window or slashing a screen, or may be without force by entering through an unlocked door or an open window. As long as the person entering has no legal right to be present in the structure a burglary has occurred. Furthermore, the structure need not be the house itself for a burglary to take place; illegal entry of a garage, shed, or any other structure on the premises also constitutes household burglary. If breaking and entering occurs in a hotel or vacation residence, it is still classified as a burglary for the household whose member or members were staying there at the time the entry occurred.
Attempted forcible entry-A form of burglary in which force is used in an attempt to gain entry.

Completed burglary - A form of burglary in which a person who has no legal right to be present in the structure successfully gains entry to a residence, by use of force, or without force.

Forcible entry - A form of completed burglary in which force is used to gain entry to a residence. Some examples include breaking a window or slashing a screen.

Unlawful entry without force -A form of completed burglary committed by someone having no legal right to be on the premises, even though no force is used.