Crime statistics show burglaries on the rise

Monday July 16, 2018 Written by Published in Crime

Burglaries are on the rise according to half-year crime statistics released by the Cook Islands Police Service.

The latest figures show the total number of reported burglary incidents to the end of June was 85, up from 78 for the same half-year period in 2017, and the 57 in 2016.

Cook Islands Police Service spokesman Trevor Pitt says burglaries in April, May and June had revealed some key trends.

“One is the targeted burglaries on holiday homes in the Takitumu district,” Pitt said in a media statement.

“Last month the break-ins were fairly evenly split between Te au o Tonga (town) and Takitumu (mainly Vaimaanga and Ngatangiia). Most were inflicted upon resorts/holiday bungalows (7 out of 12).

“Another key feature is that two thirds of the victims of June burglaries were away from the property (at the time of the burglaries), leaving valuables at risk to opportunist or roaming offenders. Electronics topped the list of stolen items, followed by cash.”

Pitt said police had a range of difficulties to deal with in the investigation of burglaries.

“In many cases, offenders break in through doors and windows but manage to do so undetected by any witnesses. The community also remains at risk to repeat offenders as police efforts are continually stretched with monitoring and locating suspects. In many cases (they are) individuals who are already under court orders of curfews and other conditions.

There was a need for improved security around holidays and for neighbours to keep an eye on empty homes or accommodation units. Both island residents and visitors also needed to take more care of their personal belongings and valuables, Pitt added.

And it seems July is also headed to become a bad month for burglaries following a number of incidents including a break-in at an Arorangi bar on Friday night. A carton of beer is said to have been taken in the burglary, during which a glass door was smashed to give the thieves entry into the building.

The theft of a sum of cash was also reported in the Titikaveka area and a description of suspects provided to the police.

Meanwhile on Thursday night, a new 50-inch TV and an estimated 10 cartons of beer were stolen from a bar near town. Police suspect that those responsible may have used a four-wheel drive vehicle to carry the goods after gaining entry at the back of the building.

In another burglary on Thursday, cash was taken from a Panama residence. A visitor staying at Vaimaanga had his belongings stolen from under the seat of his motorcycle. Pitt said the man had gone surfing and returned to find his phone, wallet, cards and cash missing.

In a similar crime, a man returned from diving at Muri to find cash missing from his bag.

Tourists arrested, Page 2.

            - Release/CS

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