The common criminal is getting smarter, folks. If the results of a recent FBI study on property crimes (published by USA Today) are any indication, professional thieves have learned that yoinking video game consoles is a much more lucrative venture than stealing ceramic tchotchkes from grandma's mantle. According to the report, gaming console theft has increased 285 percent over three years, from 11,074 cases in 2007 to 42,615 cases in 2009.

Sure, this increase could also be attributed to the larger install bases of these consoles, but given our paranoid nature, we're more inclined to believe that criminals are just getting better at their jobs. Of course, there's a simple way to counteract this rise in theft: Just live in a state of constant, apprehensive fear. We don't think it's too -- did you just hear something?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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