Burglary increase affects locals and visitors

Saturday June 02, 2018 Written by Published in Crime

A spate of burglaries over the last week has affected both local residents and visitors, a Cook Islands Police Service spokesman says.

A man was arrested on Tuesday afternoon in connection with the burglary of a restaurant, reported last month. The man is alleged to have stolen food and alcohol from the business. Police say the alleged offender damaged security camera equipment, attempting to mask his identity.

The police obtained valuable assistance from the public with their investigation, which they say demonstrates the importance of people providing detailed information when they witness crimes.

“Key details from members of the community are often crucial in leading to arrests and resolving cases,” the spokesman said.

An investigation in to the incident was carried out by officers from the Criminal Investigation Branch. It led to the arrest of a recidivist offender, who had only recently been released from prison.

Another man appeared in court on Friday of last week, on charges relating to a burglary reported to the police last Monday. Electronic items were among property taken from a house. The man pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary and will reappear for sentencing at a later date.

On Monday this week the theft of a mobile phone in Ruatonga was reported. That afternoon, a resident of Takuvaine also reported a break-in. A tourist reported a break-in at accommodation in Titikaveka. Over $300 cash was taken.

On Tuesday afternoon, another visitor’s accommodation was broken into and $1,300 in cash was taken. A burglary in Arorangi was also reported to the police on Tuesday night.

A total of 57 burglaries has been reported in the first four months of this year, up 10 on the same period last year.

While the number of burglaries continues to rise, the police say the victims are providing too much opportunity for thieves to exploit them.

“Of particular concern is the casual attitude towards personal belongings and valuables that are left unattended. Be aware of your possessions and your surroundings,” the spokesman said.

The police say they would like to hear from anyone who may have information about any burglaries. They say as public cooperation continues to improve, so too does the outcome of police investigations into the crimes.

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