Woman stealing bottle of champagne

Typical Winter Crimes

Chilling temperature extremes create discomfort and rush of emotions in people.

This can sometimes lead to feelings of anger, depression, and bad decision-making. The winter blues can sometimes make people feel caged-in unable to find any other way out of their situation than with crime.

The wintertime brings increases in car theft, property theft, retail theft, and assaults. As emotions run high you may find yourself receiving an unexpected phone call from a loved one who has found themselves incarcerated. This is not pleasant to deal with as you will likely have to call a bail bonds agency and put up your own collateral to get them released.

The question may ring in your mind “why did they do it?” Below we are going to take a look at the most widely reported winter crimes and some of the reasons why offenders commit these acts.

Car Theft

This crime hits its annual high in the cold winter months. It doesn’t take much of a leap to understand why it’s much easier to steal a car in the wintertime as compared to warmer times of the year. When it’s cold outside people tend to start their cars and let them warm up while they are getting ready in the morning.

This leaves the car unattended and usually the owner not paying attention as they’re busy rushing around to get ready for work. This creates the perfect environment for a criminal to jump into the car and take off without having to be suspicious. This becomes especially true in the early morning dark hours where neighbors can’t really tell if the vehicle owner is driving or not.

Property Theft

Wintertime is a popular time for property theft as it’s dark many more hours of the day. Anything left unattended outside of the house or in the garage becomes easier to grab. Parking your car at a local store without locking it up leaves you open to property theft as well. With fewer people out in the winter months, more criminals will take the risk of stealing items from cars they can easily access.

Retail Theft

When expenses skyrocket in the winter and individuals require more money to cover these expenses, they can make bad choices. Stores take the brunt of unwanted theft. Increases in the theft of food and clothing are widely noticed in the winter months. These are typically harder to track as well due to the large winter clothing that people wear. Many will sport long and oversized winter coats to hide the items they are stealing, making them harder to detect.


As the days grow shorter with larger times of darkness, it tends to make people want to stay indoors. This may mean spending more time around others that you’re not used to. An argument can get out of control quickly and lead to a physical assault. Domestic assaults tend to arise from heated arguments over higher winter expenses.

Why Do They Do It?

While it’s not possible to explain exactly why certain people commit crimes, there are similarities that can be drawn.

Here’s a list of the most common contributors to winter crimes:

  • Increased Expenses (including heating, food, clothing, electricity, transportation)
  • Unemployment Rates Are At Their Highest
  • Increased Pressures To Find Suitable Shelter, Heating, and Transportation
  • Longer Hours Of Darkness Allow For Better Theft Conditions
  • Fewer People Out-And-About To Witness Potential Crimes

Winter months bring along not only snow but more crime based on fear. If a loved one is contacting you because they committed a crime it’s very likely it may be due to one of the reasons listed above.

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