SEOUL, Jan.18 (Korea Bizwire) – With the advancement of technology, not only have methods to prevent and solve robberies evolved, but also the concept of stealing has changed drastically.
Yonhap News, a Korean news agency, analyzed how theft has changed throughout the years by interviewing police officers with between 20 and 30 years of experience.
Veteran officers said that the method of committing acts of theft changed as typical housing types changed.
Until the 1970s, most thieves committed their crimes the traditional way, by ‘jumping over the fence’. However, police explain that as multi-household dwellings with three floors were built during the 1980s, thieves started to climb walls.
Security improvements could not keep up with the quick spread of taller buildings across the city, and thieves climbed up gas pipes and into apartments though windows to commit their crimes. This method is still used in less developed areas outside of metropolitan areas.
As apartments became the standard housing type in the 1990s, thieves created new ways to enter. They simply entered through doors left open for ventilation, or opened locks through the ‘milk hole’ at the bottom of the door with an umbrella or a stick.
It was reported that burglars selected houses with milk piled up in front of their door as targets during vacation season.
As digital technology advanced in the 2000s, thieves developed ways to disable digital security devices, and are now using smart devices to commit their crimes.
The ubiquity of digital door-locks enhanced safety and convenience, but also ‘pushed’ thieves to create a way to disable them by inserting metal bars and applying force.
Further technology developments brought advancements to CCTV cameras. Police now say that CCTV footage often plays a key role in solving a crime. The increased number of cameras installed and the improved quality of recorded footage contributed to increasing the number of cases that were solved.
However, thieves have also developed ways to avoid CCTV cameras. They have been able to find blind spots, and sometimes change clothes after committing a crime to avoid detection.
Some are using SNS to search for targets. An individual known only as Kim (20) was caught stealing valuables from acquaintances after seeing posts of them on vacation through SNS.
Park (41) was caught after robbing apartments that lacked CCTV cameras, after getting the information from a portal site’s maps service.
Despite the advancement in crime methodology, the rapid evolvement in tracking technologies such as CCTV resulted in an increase in the number of arrests for burglary. Compared to 2014, the number of arrests for the robberies which occurred between January and October 2015 showed a 16.9 percent increase.
Experts comment that CCTV cameras are effective at catching thieves ‘post-crime’, but they also have a huge role in preventing crime.
Even so, police officials emphasize that caution is most important in preventing theft, despite the evolution of security devices.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)