In Philip K. Dick's sci-fi novel The Minority Report (which was later made into the blockbuster movie starring Tom Cruise), Precrime officers apprehend would-be criminals before they can commit crimes.
Well, it turns out that the Santa Cruz police department has a similar program. No, they don't utilize mutant precogs, instead they have something even cooler: a computer program that can predict when and where crimes will occur.
... Santa Cruz’s method is more sophisticated than most. Based on models for predicting aftershocks from earthquakes, it generates projections about which areas and windows of time are at highest risk for future crimes by analyzing and detecting patterns in years of past crime data. The projections are recalibrated daily, as new crimes occur and updated data is fed into the program.
On the day the women were arrested, for example, the program identified the approximately one-square-block area where the parking garage is situated as one of the highest-risk locations for car burglaries.
Erica Goode of The New York Times reports: Link (Photo: Jim Wilson/The NY Times)