More people are unemployed and sat around covered in Pringles shards watching old VHS tapes they forgot they had. The plus side? That means the recession-afflicted are now fighting crime!

The AP reports that burglaries are down because no-one ever leaves the house. They were rising in 2007 and 2008 - those heady days of larcenous excess when we were all too busy to guard our diamond-encrusted gold bars and Faberge eggs. Minneapolis is down 15 per cent since last year and 25 per cent since 2007. Boston reports 335 fewer burglaries, at 2199, for the first nine months this year than last. In Los Angeles the burglary rate was dropping pre-recession and is now dropping even faster - down six per cent this year. Phoenix is down a whopping 4000 incidents from 2007.

Normally recessions mean more theft. Which probably says something about particularly high levels of moping and emailing exes this time round. "We are getting a lot more calls of suspicious activities in our neighborhoods," a Phoenix detective called James Holmes told the AP.

In Bellevue, Washington, say the AP, "would-be burglars broke into a home not knowing that - as they stacked televisions, a computer and other valuables by the door - the home's owner was not only unemployed, but in the basement."

The literal basement? Or the metaphorical 'I haven't been outside in a week and I'm using takeout napkins instead of toilet paper' basement?