The message announcing the beginning of the Purge says the following:

Commencing at the siren, any and all crime, up to, and including murder, will be legal for 12 continuous hours.

In the films, we see that nearly everybody wants to commit murder, but nobody seems interested in burglary or vandalism, which I figure would be a much more common crime given that it is less risky and has a more tangible reward in the months afterwards. Why don't people do this?

  • Go big or go home. Why risk being out and killed just for petty crimes? That's like stealing ten dollars when you could steal a mil for the same risk.
    – cde
    Nov 13, 2016 at 7:33
  • That said, don't we see graffiti everywhere?
    – cde
    Nov 13, 2016 at 7:34
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    @cde I guess there was graffiti, but we never see people doing it. Still, I figure somebody would try to steal stuff. What about the homeless? Run into a store and get some food or clothing. Or hey, grab valuables to sell back after the Purge and make some money to get out of homelessness. Risky yes, but they are already being hunted. Nov 13, 2016 at 8:06
  • 1
    But they are already at risk, so I don't see what changes. From a different perspective, why don't the crazy people doing the killing take a few moments to stuff some valuables into their pockets? They have no concerns with being out, so why not steal stuff on your way. Nov 13, 2016 at 8:13
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    Is it possible we just don't see it? In the real world, we don't hear much about more minor crimes in the news--we hear about more sensational stuff. A movie about basic B&E would be pretty boring.
    – miltonaut
    Nov 13, 2016 at 8:26

1 Answer 1


Apparently they do.

I haven't seen the film, but the plot for The First Purge explains many of the crimes committed are not murders:

The NFFA also observe that more parties than killings are taking place and that crimes are mostly just looting and vandalism, as opposed to the expected murder.

Even though this is the initial purge, it seems that many people were not as keen to get out and murder as they would be in later purges.

As the comments above suggest, as time goes on and the purge became more about killing, it would seem likely that those who are out purely for the money/vandalism (and not solely interested in killing/being killed) might not want to risk their lives.

Top tip: It might even be better to do your looting the day after the purge, since the place you want to loot might not have an owner anymore, and the cops will be busy covering all of the murder-scenes!

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