Down With the Sickness? Los Angeles Burglary and COVID-19 Restrictions

Document Type


Publication Date



Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security


strong>Objectives: To provide a partial test of routine activities theory through a spatio-temporal analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on burglary in Los Angeles.

Methods: Spatial point pattern tests, clustering, and non-parametric permutations tests were used to identify changes in burglary in the highest restriction period of 2020 as well as comparison periods for the past 10 years while controlling for the zoning within Los Angeles.

Results: COVID-19 restrictions significantly ncreased crime in commercial/industrial areas while it reduced crime in residential areas.

Conclusions: The predictions of routine activities theory were supported in regard to the importance of capable guardianship. Findings indicate that not only were the areas expected to see an increase in capable guardianship shown to have reduced crime, but that crime more generally across the city became more commercially oriented in terms of zoning as more individuals were confined to residential areas.

Publication Title

Journal of Experimental Criminology

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