A Burglar’s Guide to the City: On Architecture and Crime
with author Geoff Manaugh
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Harvard Law School Campus Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East C
The relationship between burglary and architecture is far from abstract. While it is easy to focus merely on questions of how burglars use or abuse the built environment — looking for opportunities of illicit entrance — burglary, in fact, requires architecture. It is an explicitly spatial crime, one that cannot exist without a threshold to cross, without “the magic of four walls,” as at least one legal theorist has written.
Join Geoff Manaugh, author of the new book A Burglar’s Guide to the City, to discuss more than two thousand years’ worth of heists and break-ins, with a discussion ranging from the surprisingly — one might say uselessly — complicated legal definition of an interior space to the everyday tools burglars use to gain entry.
Written over the course of three years of research, Manaugh’s Burglar’s Guide includes flights with the LAPD Air Support Division, a visit with a panic room designer and retired state cop in his New Jersey warehouse, an introduction to the subculture of recreational lock-picking, a still-unsolved bank tunnel heist in 1980s Los Angeles, and much more.