When friends moved into the Olneyville area they were fearful that they’d be burglarized. I did my best to allay the fears they had, explaining their biggest issue might be seeing a drug deal go down.
Olneyville is a section on the western end of Providence that comes just shy of bordering with Johnston, RI. Olneyville is also one of the poorest sections of the city despite efforts to bring money to the area with projects like Rising Sun Mills.
Interestingly the Rising Sun project brought a ton of money into the city. Two friends whom I worked with way back at Emblem & Badge bought the little hardware store and they’ve been there for five years now, they did improvements to the front of the building and it’s actually a nice store.
But I explained to our friends that burglary in the Olneyville section of the city is relatively low compared to other parts of the city, for example the tony East Side area, home to Brown University, RISD, et al. Most burglars tend to be poor themselves and won’t prey on their own people, but they’ll prey on students and residents of the East Side because that is where they think there is a higher potential for valuable goods.
The only thing that gives lie to this is a troubling statistic I once saw about sales of home entertainment systems. A greater majority of buyers of large HD sets and other gear are lower income families.
So I was proven correct when a string of burglaries recently came to an end in Providence. And where did the burglaries take place? The East Side.