Standardizing the Display of IBR Data: Property Variables

Data Collection and Quality Issues Associated with Property Variables

Property Description at a Glance

Segment? Property
Required? For certain completed offenses
Number of Entries? 10
Number of Coding Options? 41

Data Collection

Property segments are to be submitted when a crime against property or kidnaping/abduction is involved in the incident.  Therefore, property segments data elements are to be submitted only if the incident includes at least one of the following offenses:

100 Kidnaping/Abduction 26A False Pretenses / Swindle / Confidence Game
120 Robbery 26B Credit Card / Automatic Teller Machine Fraud
200 Arson 26C Impersonation
210 Extortion/Blackmail 26D Welfare Fraud
220 Burglary/B&E 26E Wire Fraud
23A Pocket-Picking 270 Embezzlement
23B Purse-Snatching 280 Stolen Property Offenses (Receiving, etc.)
23C Shoplifting 290 Destruction / Damage / Vandalism of Property
23D Theft from Building 35A Drug/Narcotic Violations
23E Theft from Coin-Operated Machine or Device 35B Drug Equipment Violations
23F Theft from Motor Vehicle 39A Betting/Wagering
23G Theft of Motor Vehicle Parts or Accessories 39B Operating / Promoting / Assisting Gambling
23H All Other Larceny 39C Gambling Equipment Violations
240 Motor Vehicle Theft 39D Sports Tampering
250 Counterfeiting/Forgery 510 Bribery

Property Description is to be used to enter descriptions of the property which was burned, counterfeited, destroyed/damaged/vandalized, etc., as a result of the incident.   There are 41 coding options:

01

Aircraft (airplanes, dirigibles, gliders, etc.)

02

Alcohol (beverages, e.g., beer, wine, liquor, etc.)

03

Automobiles (sedans, coupes, station wagons, convertibles, taxicabs, and similar motor vehicles which serve the purpose of transporting people)

04

Bicycles (includes tandem, unicycles, and tricycles)
05 Buses (motor vehicles which are designed, but not necessarily used, to transport groups of people on a commercial basis)
06 Clothes/Furs (apparel for human use, including accessories such as belts, shoes, scarves, ties, etc.)
07 Computer Hardware/Software (computers, peripherals, and storage media)
08 Consumable Goods (expendable items used by humans for nutrition, enjoyment or hygiene, e.g., food, beverages, grooming products, cigarettes, gasoline, firewood, etc.)
09 Credit/Debit Cards (including ATM cards)
10 Drugs/Narcotics
11 Drug/Narcotic Equipment
12 Farm Equipment (tractors, combines, etc.)
13 Firearms (weapons that fire a shot by force of an explosion, i.e., handguns, rifles, shotguns, etc., but not BB, pellet, or gas-powered guns)
14 Gambling Equipment (including paraphernalia)
15 Heavy Construction/Industrial Equipment (cranes, bulldozers, steamrollers, oil-drilling rigs, etc.)
16 Household Goods (beds, chairs, desks, sofas, tables, refrigerators, stoves, washers/dryers, air conditioning and heating equipment, etc., or small appliances)
17 Jewelry/Precious Metals (bracelets, necklaces, rings, watches, etc., and gold, silver, platinum, etc.)
18 Livestock (living farm-type animals, e.g., cattle, chickens, hogs, horses, sheep, etc., but not household pets, such as dogs and cats)
19 Merchandise (items held for sale)
20 Money (legal tender, i.e., coins and paper currency)
21 Negotiable Instruments (any document, other than currency, which is payable without restriction, e.g., endorsed checks, endorsed money orders, and endorsed traveler's checks; "bearer checks and bonds; etc.)
22 Nonnegotiable Instruments (documents requiring further action to become negotiable, e.g., unendorsed checks, unendorsed money orders, etc.; food stamps; stocks and bonds; etc.)
23 Office-type Equipment (typewriters, adding machines, calculators, cash registers, copying machines, etc.)
24 Other Motor Vehicles (any other motor vehicles, e.g., motorcycles, motor scooters, trail bikes, mopeds, snowmobiles, golf carts, etc.)
25 Purses/Handbags/Wallets
26 Radios/TVs/VCRs (includes videotape recorders, high fidelity and stereo equipment, compact disk players, cameras, etc.)
27 Recordings-Audio/Visual (phonograph records, compact disks, tape recordings, cassettes, etc.)
28 Recreational Vehicles (motor vehicles which are specifically designed, but not necessarily used, to transport people and also provide them temporary lodging for recreational purposes)
29 Structures-Single Occupancy Dwellings (houses, townhouses, duplexes, mobile homes, or other private dwellings which are occupied by a single person, family, housemates, or other group)
30 Structures-Other Dwellings (any other residential dwellings not meeting the definition of Single Occupancy Dwellings, e.g., apartments, tenements, flats, boarding houses, dormitories, as well as temporary living quarters, such as hotels, motels, inns, etc.)
31 Structures-Other Commercial/Business (stores, office buildings, restaurants, etc.)
32 Structures-Industrial/Manufacturing (factories, plants, assembly lines, etc.)
33 Structures-Public/Community (colleges, hospitals, jails, libraries, meeting halls, passenger terminals, religious buildings, schools, sports arenas, etc.)
34 Structures-Storage (barns, garages, storehouses, warehouses, etc.)
35 Structures-Other (any other structures not fitting the other "Structures" descriptions, e.g., outbuildings, monuments, buildings under construction, etc.)
36 Tools (hand tools and power tools)
37 Trucks (motor vehicles which are specifically designed, but not necessarily used, to transport cargo)
38 Vehicle Parts/Accessories (motor vehicle batteries, engines, transmissions, heaters, hubcaps, tires, manufacturers' emblems, license plates, sideview mirrors, radios, antennas, tape decks, etc.)
39 Watercraft (motorboats, sailboats, houseboats, etc.)
77 Other (all other property not fitting the above specific descriptions, including intangibles.  "Intangibles" are anything which cannot be perceived by the sense of touch.  They can be benefits, e.g., a right or privilege, a promotion, enhanced reputation, etc.; or detriment, e.g., a loss of reputation, injured feelings)
88 Pending Inventory (property description unknown until an inventory is conducted - once the resulsts of the inventory are learned, this information should be updated)

If more than ten types of property are involved, the nine most valuable types of property are to be entered and the remaining types of property are to be combined and entered as Other.


Data Quality Issues

Some property types do not make sense in conjunction with certain offenses.  For example, a Structures code (29 through 35) only makes sense with a destruction/damage/vandalism or arson offense.  However, in the 1999 NIBRS Property segment, over 10,000 structures are listed as the property involved in the incident.

structures.jpg (97099 bytes)

Since there may be additional offenses in the incident that make sense to have structures as property, we need to look at the other offenses where necessary. 

All of the burglary offenses with structures listed as the property description have at least one additional offense also reported.  These incidents will need to be examined to see if either arson or destruction/damage/vandalism are included.  If not, these incidents will need to be reviewed to determine whether the property description is entered correctly.

Download the SPSS code for this data quality check
Note: Please check that the variable names used in this syntax match the variable names in your data file.  If you need assistance, contact JRSA.


As with many fields, there is often a default code listed in most record management systems.  For many, this default is set to 01 "Aircraft".  It may be worthwhile to check the offenses with aircraft listed in the property description to ensure that the correct information was entered.  In the 1999 NIBRS data file, a little less than 1% of the reported property were aircraft.

aircraft.jpg (17715 bytes)

Download the SPSS code for this data quality check
Note: Please check that the variable names used in this syntax match the variable names in your data file.  If you need assistance, contact JRSA.