How the Great California Dispensary Heist Went Horrifically Wrong

September 19, 2018
One of the most outrageous crime sagas of the 21st century starts with a severed penis...and only gets stranger from there.

In the cold, predawn darkness of the Mojave Desert, the blood was pouring out. A man — his hands and feet bound tight with zip ties, his eyes blindfolded and his mouth taped shut — had just been held down by three unseen figures. They’d burned, beaten, stomped and tased him. Then they placed another zip tie around the base of his genitals and cut off his penis.

'Death Wish' and the Life of Great American Cities

October 23, 2008
City streets need only few things to make them safe, according to the famous urbanist Jane Jacobs. She says safe streets need people walking around, places for them to go, things for them to do and other people for them to interact with. Simple as that. But Jane forgot one more thing: a sock full of quarters.

This final piece is a critical element in maintaining the safety of a street or neighborhood. The antidote to crime and the fear it inspires is a community that asserts its own security. The social livelihood of streets and neighborhoods is what maintains safety and security. But in the absence of this social interaction, crime prevails. The fear of crime kills the street.

Why Some Homes Get Burgled and Others Don't

March 29, 2016
It could have as much to do with geography as curb appeal

Los Angeles is a city that was built for crime. According to architecture writer Geoff Manaugh’s new book, A Burglar’s Guide to the City, its urban form deserves at least part of the blame for the larceny inflicted upon us. In fact, the sprawl gave rise to what Manaugh calls an entirely different kind of policing: from helicopters. We talked to him about buildings, burglars, and bank robbers.

Certain parts of L.A. are more prone to burglary simply because of their architecture and design. Manaugh says cookie-cutter suburban development is a prime target.

How Community-Led Renovation is Helping a Rundown Pittsburgh Neighborhood Fight Crime

July 8, 2015
Slumlords are vanishing, crime is down and affordable housing on the rise: what can East Liberty teach us about the transformative power of regeneration?

Dorothea Burke is standing in the street, staring at her house. It’s a warm day in late May and after a hard Pittsburgh winter, Burke and many of her neighbours are in home improvement mode. Drills and power saws blare in the background. New windows are going in across the street and the house next to it is on the market. Facing her house, Burke, a 23-year resident of this block, is thinking about repointing her brickwork and maybe a paint job. “People are finally taking pride in their homes,” she says.