The trend appears to have continued into February as well, with police notified of at least eight alleged incidents so far this month. Police have called for a “greater awareness about security measures” to combat the rise in thefts. There were 18 incidents in January, the highest number since August last year, and more than were recorded in the same month in 2016 and 2017. Included in those figures are a spate of burglaries in town, with MFEM, Banana Court and the Empire Theatre among the properties targeted.
Police have made several arrests, but that does not appear to have stemmed the number of incidents. So far this month there have been reports of motorbikes being stolen, the theft of produce from a grower, break-ins involving homes and vehicles, and the unlawful use of an ATM.
“The first month of 2018 has highlighted the security and vulnerability of Rarotonga properties, businesses and personal belongings, as well as motorbikes,” said a police spokesman.
“Businesses, particularly in the town area, are being reminded in a harsh way about the value of security-camera surveillance and tightening up on potential break-in points such as window areas.”
He urged residents to take action to reduce the opportunities for thieves.
“Throughout village neighbourhoods, residents can boost security through watch groups, better lighting and locks, and a dog – registered of course. Valuables should not be left unattended or openly displayed on table tops.
“Motorcycles are easy targets and the risks can be reduced with preventative steps. Helmets too seem to be on the ‘snatch list’.
“Police work to recover property is better assisted with as much detail and information that can be provided should you ever be a victim.
“Above all, be security conscious. Don’t be complacent. Stay aware of the risks around your property and where your valuables are at all times.”