People are labouring under the delusion that the increase in reported theft is indicative of the moral decline of society.
I disagree, theft has been increasing because people now have possessions that are easy to carry and worth stealing.
The average home now contains; pc's, TV's, stereos, DVD's CD's and mobile phones. Indeed many people on the street carry walkmans and mobile phones, that are easy targets.
None of these products existed 50 years ago, when the reported crime rate was lower.