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These Are America’s 10 Most Dangerous Small Cities
http://www.movoto.com ^ | March 26, 2014 | Randy Nelson

Posted on 03/31/2014 6:27:23 AM PDT by Red Badger

If you’re hoping to escape from big city crime, look elsewhere. These places actually defy the stereotype of smaller cities being safer.

When you see small towns on TV and in movies, they’re almost always idyllic places where the American dream is thriving and neighbors all know each other. That, and unless you’re watching a whodunnit, no one’s ever the victim of a crime.

In reality, small cities are surprisingly similar to all the others, meaning that there are good ones and bad. While the Movoto Real Estate Blog has been writing lately about America’s safest places, we thought we’d switch gears today and look the small cities where crime is a real concern.

After studying more than 200 small cities, we’ve concluded that Wilmington, DE is the most dangerous in terms of crime. It’s joined in this dubious honor by nine other places to comprise our 10 most dangerous small cities in America:

1. Wilmington, DE

2. Canton, OH

3. Jackson, TN

4. Rocky Mount, NC

5. North Little Rock, AR

6. Pensacola, FL

7. Daytona Beach, FL

8. Homestead, FL

9. Lauderhill, FL

10. Warner Robins, GA

Florida accounted for the single largest share of cities in the top 10, with four. It’s interesting to note that all 10 are either in the Midwestern, Mid-Atlantic, or Southern regions of the country.

You can read more about the top 10 most dangerous below, and see a ranking of the 50 most dangerous at the end of this post. Next, we’ll go over our methodology for building this ranking. How We Created This Report

To produce this ranking, we first decided on a list of small cities between 50,000 and 75,000 residents in size. After eliminating those without available crime data, we were left with a list of 234 places to study.

Using data from the FBI’s 2012 uniform crime report, the latest available, we measured seven distinct crimes using the total reported incidents of each:

Burglary

Theft

Motor vehicle theft

Murder

Rape

Robbery

Assault

We separated these crimes into four groups: murders, violent crimes (murder, rape, robbery, and assault), property crimes (burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft), and total crimes. The cities were then ranked on the incidents of each group per 100,000 residents per year, from 1 to 234, with a higher score being more dangerous. We calculated the number of crimes per 100,000 residents for 2012 in order to have a level playing field on which to compare cities with varying population sizes.

The individual rankings (murders, violent crimes, property crimes and total crimes) were then weighted to create a final overall score. Murders, violent crimes, and property crimes each comprised 30 percent of the total, while total crimes made up 10 percent. The higher this combined score, the more dangerous the city.

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of how each of the 10 most dangerous small cities fared when judged on these criteria.

1. Wilmington, DE

The most dangerous small city we studied, Wilmington is on the larger end of our range with a population of just over 72,000. Despite the efforts of local authorities, which have included placing the city’s entire downtown area under CCTV surveillance and other aggressive tactics, crime continues to be a serious problem in Wilmington. It topped the list in terms of violent crime, outranking 233 other cities for this dubious honor, with 1,703 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.

Wilmington didn’t fare much better in other areas, ranking as the third-most dangerous small city in terms of murder (it saw 26 in 2012) and total crime (5,052 were reported there the same year). The only instance in which it did even slightly better—and then only relatively—was property crimes, where it placed ninth overall for its 5,305 crimes per 100,000.

With a reported 150 shootings by the end of 2013, it would seem that Wilmington has a long way to go before it can be considered a safer place to live.

2. Canton, OH

Ohio is known for lots of things, and thankfully being crime-ridden isn’t one of them. Like most states, though, it has its rough spots, and Canton is one of them. A little more than 50 miles outside of Cleveland, this city made No. 2 on our list with a couple of second-place crime rankings: property crimes and total crimes.

In terms of the former, there were 6,550 property crimes per 100,000 residents there in 2012, and for the latter Canton had 7,562 total crimes per 100,000. Thefts led the list of property crimes, with 2,671 reported that year. Elsewhere in our rankings, Canton placed eighth for murder with 10 in all and eighth for violent crime in general with 1,011 per 100,000 people.

3. Jackson, TN

Named for native Tennessean and America’s seventh President, Andrew Jackson, this city of nearly 66,000 in Madison County has the dubious distinction of placing fourth overall in terms of both murders and violent crimes per 100,000. It earned that first ranking for the 11 murders reported there in 2012; one more than Canton, in fact.

Jackson’s second fourth-place rank came from its 1,348 violent crimes per 100,000 residents that year. It fared substantially better in both property crimes and total crimes per 100,000, where it ranked 16th and 11th, respectively.

4. Rocky Mount, NC

Remember how we said every state has its rough spots? Well, North Carolina is home to places like Cary, NC, which are exceedingly safe, but also those like Rocky Mount, which certainly aren’t. In fact, this city of about 58,000 was the sixth most dangerous we looked at in terms of violent crimes, with 1,039 per 100,000 residents in 2012.

Rocky Mount performed ever-so-slightly better when it came to homicides, where it placed seventh overall with 14 per 100,000. Its rankings for property crimes and total crimes per 100,000 were slightly better. It placed 13th for the former with 4,693 and 12th for the latter with 5,732.

5. North Little Rock, AR

Situated across the Arkansas River from Little Rock, AR proper, North Little Rock is only about 30 percent as large as its namesake but actually has more per capita crime. This city’s 5,920 crimes in 2012 were enough to earn it first place in terms of total crimes, while it also took first in property crimes (there were 5,471 of those).

Fortunately, the city’s violent crime ranking was considerably lower at 26th overall, with 623 crimes per 100,000 residents reported in 2012. Its 13 murders per 100,000 were enough to earn it 12th place for that criterion.

With crime stats like this, it’s no wonder the North Little Rock Police Department has been experimenting with drones for the past few years and has plans to use them over high-crime neighborhoods in the not-too-distant future.

6. Pensacola, FL

Pensacola is the first of four cities in Florida that made our top 10 most dangerous places, which also means it’s the most dangerous of the bunch. It also happens to be the smallest by about 10,000 residents. Despite this, it ranks six places higher than the next-most dangerous small Florida city in terms of murder; Pensacola placed 10th overall in that category with 13 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2012.

As for violent crimes in general, Pensacola placed 19th with 656 per 100,000. For property crime, North Little Rock ranked 23rd, which is actually the second-safest in our top 10, while for total crime it placed 21st; the safest in our top 10 when judged that way.

7. Daytona Beach, FL

Probably best known outside Florida for NASCAR’s annual Daytona 500 race, Daytona Beach is fittingly on the higher end of the scale when it comes to motor vehicle thefts (it had 346 in 2012). In fact, the city ranked eighth overall when it came to property crime, with 5,367 per 100,000 residents. This was just slightly better than its rank for violent crime, where it placed ninth overall.

Daytona Beach placed sixth when it came to total crimes, with 6,359 per 100,000 people. Fortunately, it fared much better in terms of the most serious crime we looked at—Murder—where it ranked 44th overall with six per 100,000 during 2012.

8. Lauderhill, FL

Located just west of Fort Lauderdale, FL, the small city of Lauderhill is the safest place in our top 10 as far as property crimes go. It placed 32nd overall in that criterion, with 4,070 property crimes per 100,000 residents in 2012. For total crimes, it ranked 20th.

Things look worse for the city when violent crimes are considered. Lauderhill saw 814 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2012, a number large enough for it to rank 12th overall. In terms of murders, things weren’t much better; Lauderhill had 12 per 100,000, a 16th-place finish.

9. Homestead, FL

Despite having the second-highest violent crime rate in our top 10, Homestead—a city of almost 63,000 located south of Miami, FL—was fortunately much safer in terms of murder. It was third most dangerous overall for violent crimes, at a rate of 1,450 per 100,000 residents in 2012. For murder, it placed 45th, at six per 100,000 that year.

Homestead was 18th overall for property crime, with 4,461 per 100,000—an overwhelming majority of which were thefts. As for total crimes, the city placed eighth, with a combined crime rate of 5,911 per 100,000 annually.

10. Warner Robins, GA

Home to Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins has the lowest overall violent crime rank of any city in our top 10, placing 45th most dangerous in that respect, but makes up for this fact when it comes to property crime. The city is sixth overall for burglaries, thefts, and vehicle thefts, with 5,520 property crimes per 100,000 residents in 2012.

The overall crime rate of 6,027 per 100,000 recorded that year was high enough for Warner Robins to be ranked the seventh-most dangerous place in that criterion. As for murder, the city ranked 23rd—not the absolute worst, but with 234 cities in our ranking, certainly nowhere near good. Safety In Numbers

As we pointed out earlier, the majority of the most dangerous small cities we found are situated in the Mid-Atlantic, Southern, and Midwestern regions of the country. On the flip side, we noted that the safest tended to be divided into two groups: either out West in places like California and Utah or in Minnesota (where there seem to be lots of small cities, for yet-to-be-analyzed reasons).

Lakeville, MN was the safest small city (at 56,805 residents) out of all the ones we looked at, with a diminutive 14 violent crimes per 100,000 residents during the period studied (no murders or rapes were among them). The rest of the top five safest were, in descending order: Lehi, UT, Minnetonka, MN, Laguna Nigel, CA, and Yorba Linda, CA.

So, if you happen to reside in any of the unsafe spots we just covered, your ticket to low-crime living (without changing city size) just might be in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: ar; bluezones; crimerate; ga; nc; poverty; tn; top10; urban
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1 posted on 03/31/2014 6:27:23 AM PDT by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

How did Saginaw get snuck into the middle there? It looks like the smalltown capital of murders.


2 posted on 03/31/2014 6:31:54 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: Red Badger

I concur with North Little Rock. Not a happy place.


3 posted on 03/31/2014 6:33:32 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Mostly red states. Sad! However, what is next most dangerous 10 cities with 5,000 people...of course you are going to get the 10 worst cities and some will be in red states.


4 posted on 03/31/2014 6:33:42 AM PDT by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the country!)
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To: Red Badger
I have a hard time believing that that Casa Grand, AZ did not make the top 10 list. And it is just incredulous that it did not make the top 50.
5 posted on 03/31/2014 6:35:38 AM PDT by Tupelo (I feel more like Philip Nolan every day)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Note Sanford, Florida.................home of you-know-who................


6 posted on 03/31/2014 6:36:29 AM PDT by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: Red Badger
Here's some census data for Wilmington, DE. Note anything unusual about the demographics?
7 posted on 03/31/2014 6:36:42 AM PDT by Scutter
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Saginaw for those who do not know, has a ... population which is ... well, diverse.

Just saying.


8 posted on 03/31/2014 6:37:25 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2013)
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To: napscoordinator

Blue spots in red states.


9 posted on 03/31/2014 6:38:19 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: Scutter

No. Not considering its place among the top ten.................


10 posted on 03/31/2014 6:39:00 AM PDT by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: Red Badger

These are no doubt white majority enclaves.


11 posted on 03/31/2014 6:39:17 AM PDT by umgud
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To: Scutter

That’s not very white of you... (Wilmington).


12 posted on 03/31/2014 6:39:30 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Let’s stop using RED and BLUE

Before AlGore’s election the democrpas were always COMMIE RED

I can’t believe the GOP let them get away with switching it without a word


13 posted on 03/31/2014 6:39:38 AM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
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To: Mr. K

Ah I don’t care if sanity were green.


14 posted on 03/31/2014 6:40:27 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: Scutter

Not enough minorities?


15 posted on 03/31/2014 6:41:03 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: Red Badger

Seems like several of the top ten have military bases.


16 posted on 03/31/2014 6:41:43 AM PDT by matthew fuller (No, I don't miss GWB- I miss Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld.)
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To: matthew fuller

I noticed that.......................


17 posted on 03/31/2014 6:42:08 AM PDT by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: Red Badger

They should have listed the demographics.


18 posted on 03/31/2014 6:42:45 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Unions are an Affirmative Action program for Slackers! .)
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To: Mr. K

“Let’s stop using RED and BLUE”

I’ve posted on threads with similar complaints that we should just switch it back ourselves, and capitalize the “R” in red so that there is no misunderstanding.


19 posted on 03/31/2014 6:42:52 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Beagle8U

That would be waysis!..................


20 posted on 03/31/2014 6:44:33 AM PDT by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: kearnyirish2

That works.

There is no reason we cannot do things ourselves, such as this.

Zero.


21 posted on 03/31/2014 6:44:38 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2013)
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To: kearnyirish2

The current meme is fine with me. Red is for redneck and red blooded.


22 posted on 03/31/2014 6:44:50 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: umgud

Bitter clingers.........................


23 posted on 03/31/2014 6:45:15 AM PDT by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: napscoordinator

Unfortunately every miscreant and naer-do-well on the continent seems to make a beeline for Florida.


24 posted on 03/31/2014 6:45:57 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Mr. K
Before AlGore’s election the democrpas were always COMMIE RED

Not true. Not true at all.

The incumbent party, the one holding the White House, was always blue.

25 posted on 03/31/2014 6:46:06 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: Red Badger

Just think in the nest thirty yeas maybe Detroit will be a small city and could be on the list. They just missed the cut off for making Gary a small city. Maybe after the next census it will be on the list.


26 posted on 03/31/2014 6:50:33 AM PDT by amnestynone (Lindsey Graham is a feckless, duplicitous, treacherous, double dealing backstabbing corksucker.)
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To: Red Badger

This is probably the only list of negatives that my state of N.J. is not well represented on. We seem to do very well on other negative lists.


27 posted on 03/31/2014 6:53:10 AM PDT by certrtwngnut (')
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To: Red Badger

I’m surprised that Fayetteville, NC didn’t make the list, as it was recently reported in the local newspaper that Fayetteville has the highest crime rate per capita in North Carolina and third highest in the U.S.

And yes, Fort Bragg is right next door.


28 posted on 03/31/2014 6:55:53 AM PDT by DJ Taylor (Once again our country is at war,and once again the Democrats have sided with our enemy.)
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To: amnestynone

Nearly 50,000 people have left Flint since I lived there in the 90’s. They are about to drop to five-figures, which should land them atop the next list.


29 posted on 03/31/2014 6:58:41 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: certrtwngnut

The only reason Camden, NJ isn’t on the list is because it’s too large to make the small town list.


30 posted on 03/31/2014 6:59:14 AM PDT by DJ Taylor (Once again our country is at war,and once again the Democrats have sided with our enemy.)
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To: Red Badger
I am not trying to be provocative, but each of the top ten most dangerous small cities (except perhaps, Homestead, FL) share common demographic characteristics.
31 posted on 03/31/2014 6:59:26 AM PDT by Obadiah (I Like Ted.)
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To: DJ Taylor; matthew fuller

I think the crime rate vs proximity of military bases is because of the recruiting practices over the years.

Back in the old days, judges would give young men the choice of going to jail or joining the military, in the hope that they would be re-oriented into a civil human being. I don’t know if they still do that, bu I wouldn’t be surprised if the do....................


32 posted on 03/31/2014 7:04:42 AM PDT by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: Red Badger

That there are safe places to live is a complete fallacy.

A fool’s dream.

I live in a rural area of NC.

50 years or so ago, an area where people never locked their doors. No trespassing signs were rare as hen’s teeth.

Knock on a farmer’s door to ask if you could hunt on his land and you got invited in for “dinner”. Even though he had never seen you before.

I was born in this county but did not live in it until I was forty years old.

Since I returned in 1968 there have been five murders in the immediate neighborhood.

Two of them my second cousin and her husband directly across the road from the house in which I was born, a common thing 86 years ago.

One half mile from our house, on our road, lives the widow of a man killed in a robbery. He was the only person of the five who was engaged in questionable activity. He had a weed patch on his property. Not where the widow lives today, but still in our neighborhood.

One mile from our house, an old retired man, deaf from operating loud equipment, was murdered in is sleep.

Without boring you with more detail, the point is that if it can happen in a community of church going decent hard working people, it can happen anywhere.

If you think your neighborhood is one where it can not happen, you are dreaming.

So statistics like this are valuable if they keep you out of the worst places, but misleading if they lead you to think your area is safe. There is no safe place.

So be wary, ready and quick.


33 posted on 03/31/2014 7:05:51 AM PDT by old curmudgeon
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To: certrtwngnut

I’m sure NJ will try harder the next time.............


34 posted on 03/31/2014 7:06:03 AM PDT by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: Red Badger

I see that Lancaster PA made the list. Not surprising. And FWIW, it’s not the Amish Mafia that is the problem there.

It’s mostly the same here in York PA. Some days, when I’m watching the local news and hear about the latest shooting or stabbing, carjacking, home invasion, I feel like I’m back home in Baltimore. The only time I venture into York City is when I absolutely have to like back in October when I had to go to the court house to get my expedited passport for an upcoming business trip. It was like going to a 3rd world country. And downtown York doesn’t have much to offer in terms of restaurants or museums or attractions so the only reason I have to go there is when I have to.

Mind you, the surrounding areas, rural York and Lancaster counties are beautiful and there are many good and conservative people in these parts but to be fair and honest it isn’t just the minorities; there are a lot of white welfare scum, mothers with multiple kids from different baby daddies, meth heads and heroin addicts who commit a good number of crimes outside of Lancaster and York Cities. I work in Manheim which is a quaint little town in the heart of Amish country but I understand that there is a very big heroin problem there.


35 posted on 03/31/2014 7:06:27 AM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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To: HiTech RedNeck

“The current meme is fine with me. Red is for redneck and red blooded.”

For 100 years Reds have been red; I’d prefer to keep it that way myself.


36 posted on 03/31/2014 7:06:35 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: old curmudgeon

True. I grew up in a very rural area in Mississippi. We had crimes even there, back in the early 60’s. Shootings, robberies, drugs, etc. weren’t real common, but they still happened..................


37 posted on 03/31/2014 7:09:15 AM PDT by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: kearnyirish2

Rednecks have had red necks before Marx was a rug rat.


38 posted on 03/31/2014 7:10:02 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: Red Badger

Kingsport, TN, about 2/3 of the way down the list.

The crime reports in the local newspaper read like a reality TV show, a cross between Cops and Honey Boo-Boo.

http://www.timesnews.net/section/police-blotter


39 posted on 03/31/2014 7:11:38 AM PDT by Rebelbase (Tagline: optional, printed after your name on post)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Ditto


40 posted on 03/31/2014 7:11:39 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: Beagle8U

Precisely!

But that would be you-know-what


41 posted on 03/31/2014 7:11:46 AM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: MD Expat in PA; old curmudgeon
Here in NW Florida, rural area north of I-10, we just had a spate of church burglaries over the last few months. Rural churches broken in to steal musical instruments, or anything of value. Here are the perps:

http://www.nwfdailynews.com/local/two-facing-charges-in-connection-with-church-burglaries-1.296160

42 posted on 03/31/2014 7:13:59 AM PDT by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: old curmudgeon
If such a list were drawn up in, say, 1885, Ft. Smith, Arkansas would've definitely made the top 10. Fifteen years later, it would've dropped off the list completely.

The common denominator in the quick drop off was the below pictured judicial contraption and a willingness to use it as needed:

Gallows at Ft. Smith

43 posted on 03/31/2014 7:19:38 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Red Badger

Amish and the undocumented, our society’s lethal combination..


44 posted on 03/31/2014 7:20:27 AM PDT by DickBrannigan (When did logic become reversed, and right became wrong, and wrong became right?)
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To: DJ Taylor

Property crime is typical near bases.
Thieves know when people deploy.


45 posted on 03/31/2014 7:21:24 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad and lived with his parents .)
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To: Red Badger
"I think the crime rate vs proximity of military bases is because of the recruiting practices over the years."

No, I think it has more to do with large numbers of young single men with large amounts of disposable income as one can find in these military bases next door to these small towns. This disposable income in the hands of young single men attracts predators who feed off this wealth. Soon after the pay raises of the mid 1960s, I observed the criminal element with their prostitution and drugs move into the areas surrounding our military bases.

Just as when you leave food laying around you'll attract rats, when you leave easy money laying around you'll attract criminals.

46 posted on 03/31/2014 7:23:19 AM PDT by DJ Taylor (Once again our country is at war,and once again the Democrats have sided with our enemy.)
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To: DickBrannigan

How did Lancaster get on the list?


47 posted on 03/31/2014 7:25:29 AM PDT by angcat
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To: Vigilanteman

The roof is a thoughtful addition. It keeps the sun wind and rain off the occupiers of the structure.


48 posted on 03/31/2014 7:25:43 AM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: Red Badger
I've been to Canton, Kissimmee, Saginaw, Terre Haute, and Bowling Green.

Some have their rough spots, but Saginaw is known as Sagnasty for a reason. It's a whole different type of place.

49 posted on 03/31/2014 7:30:34 AM PDT by Darren McCarty (Abortion - legalized murder for convenience)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

That’s your call; it was no accident that the media switched the red & blue.


50 posted on 03/31/2014 7:31:21 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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