Data released by the FBI today reveals that the number of reported thefts of video game consoles in the United States in 2009 has risen by an amazing 285% over the 2007 figures.
In 2007, 11,074 consoles - and that's all consoles and handhelds lumped together - were reported stolen to authorities. In 2008, that number roughly doubled, to 21,732. And in 2009, it roughly doubled again, rising to 42,615.
The increase comes despite an overall decline in other property crimes, and probably has everything to do with the economic woes afflicting the US during this time period.
"Criminals are rational", criminologist Larry J. Siegel told USA Today. "They steal things that have high value, are easily transportable and easily sold. The most expensive thing in my house is my refrigerator, but nobody is trying to steal my refrigerator."
Thieves load up on electronic loot [USA Today]