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Common Crimes in the Winter

Person wearing a facemask with snow on their jacket and snow on the ground

Just because the weather turns colder doesn’t mean crime slows down. In fact, certain crimes tend to happen more in the wintertime than at other times of the year.

Car Theft

Whether your vehicle is left outside or in the garage, it can be chilly inside especially during Wisconsin winters. Many people prefer to warm up their car before driving in it so they will leave the vehicle unoccupied while it gets warmer. However, this is the perfect opportunity for potential thieves to take your vehicle.

A remote starter may be standard in newer vehicles to help prevent this type of crime. Remote starters can usually be placed in a vehicle if it doesn’t have one already. Another way to prevent this type of theft is by having extra car keys. This way, you can lock your vehicle with your spare key while your other key is in the ignition.


While stores may be full of customers hustling to find the perfect last-minute gift, it is also the prime season for shoplifting. Since stores are usually more occupied this time of year, it can be easier for someone to slip something they didn’t pay for into a bag and walk out of the store. Another reason some may choose to shoplift is that they can’t afford a specific item. Especially during the holidays, money to spend on gifts may not be available and some individuals may feel they have no other option other than to shoplift. Several alarm service companies note that the most common items stolen include food, baby formula, clothes, and electronics.

Property Theft

Homeowners who decorate by putting holiday lights up or inflatables outside may not be so jolly if they find that these items have been stolen. Typically, acts like this are done by individuals trying to pull a prank but that doesn’t make the crime any less severe.

An additional common property theft crime is thieves taking items out of unlocked vehicles during the holidays. Having an unlocked car could be a gold mine for thieves especially with the thought that presents or other valuables may be in your vehicle.

No matter the season, vehicles should always be locked and windows rolled up to keep your car and items inside the most protected. If a potential thief tries to open your car door and notices that it’s locked, they will most likely move on to a different vehicle. That’s because potential thieves are looking to take something quickly without being noticed and usually will not go out of their way to break into a vehicle.

Physical Assault

This is more than people pushing each other to get the last most-wanted toy on the shelf (although it is seen more in the movies, it does happen in real life). The stress of the holidays can sometimes push people over their edge.

Additionally, people can become more tense or agitated because there are fewer hours of daylight outside. Too, the colder weather means more people will be indoors and may be surrounded by others when they would rather have personal space. This type of environment can foster a small disagreement to a potential physical altercation in a short period of time. Law enforcement, in particular, note that domestic assault cases increase during the winter months.

Milwaukee Criminal Defense Attorney Jason D. Baltz

If you were charged with one of these crimes or are facing a different criminal charge, don’t lose hope. An accusation isn’t a final sentence, and we will be there to fight your case. Reach out to the team at The Law Offices of Jason D. Baltz today for a free consultation. (414) 375-0797.

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