Burglary and theft are often difficult crimes for police to pursue. They often occur when the home or vehicle is unoccupied, leaving no witnesses and very little evidence. Generally, there is nothing in particular tying the perpetrator to any particular property, so assembling a list of suspects is difficult or impossible. Often, robberies come in a string, one after another in a similar area. Local residents usually put a great deal of pressure on law enforcement officials in these situations.
When a suspect is apprehended in the commission of a robbery, there is a common assumption that he or she must have also committed a number of other robberies as well. Immediately, public opinion holds the suspect guilty of the other crimes in the area, in addition to the one for which he or she is accused. Sometimes, the suspect is charged with these crimes as well.