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Get tougher on habitual thieves


POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Mar 19, 2014

~~<p>Habitual criminals convicted of burglarizing houses, stealing cars and committing other property crimes would no longer be eligible for probation under a bill moving in the state Legislature. Although the measure raises serious concerns about judicial discretion and about how best to rehabilitate chronic lawbreakers, many of whom are stealing to finance expensive drug habits, the bill deserves to move forward.</p>
<p>Overall crime rates in Hawaii have fallen to record lows over the past decade, but that is no solace to those who are victimized. Property crime, a category that includes larceny-theft, burglary and motor-vehicle theft, also is down, but remains by far the most common crime reported in Hawaii, accounting for nearly 93 percent of all 46,797 index crimes reported in 2012, according to a report by the attorney general's office. More than $70 million worth of property was reported stolen in 2012, and only about 22 percent of it was recovered. Most of these crimes are never solved, leaving victims feeling threatened, vulnerable and frustrated.</p>
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Habitual criminals convicted of burglarizing houses, stealing cars and committing other property crimes would no longer be eligible for probation under a bill moving in the state Legislature. Although the measure raises serious concerns about judicial discretion and about how best to rehabilitate chronic lawbreakers, many of whom are stealing to finance expensive drug habits, the bill deserves to move forward.

Overall crime rates in Hawaii have fallen to record lows over the past decade, but that is no solace to those who are victimized. Property crime, a category that includes larceny-theft, burglary and motor-vehicle theft, also is down, but remains by far the most common crime reported in Hawaii, accounting for nearly 93 percent of all 46,797 index crimes reported in 2012, according to a report by the attorney general's office. More than $70 million worth of property was reported stolen in 2012, and only about 22 percent of it was recovered. Most of these crimes are never solved, leaving victims feeling threatened, vulnerable and frustrated. Login for more...



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