In a media statement, the Cook Islands Police Service said the July operations by the police Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) were carefully organised and conducted as a result of a recent spate of burglaries on the island.
The burglaries cleared from police investigations had mostly targeted tourist accommodation facilities. Three of the five offenders were juveniles aged 14 and the other two were under 21. All have appeared before the court, with cases being adjourned to later dates subject to strict bail conditions.
The electronic items were recovered and held by the police following two operations last week. “Search warrants were executed and 11 items found and confiscated,” the statement said.
“While these items are yet to be examined to determine rightful ownership, four offenders were apprehend ranging in age from 16 to 30.
They were all arrested for drug-related offences, with further charges pending.
“The rash of burglaries around Rarotonga, particularly in the Vaimaanga area, has been given a priority by the police. Of concern is the attitude of repeat juvenile offenders who have a complete disrespect for the property of others and a careless disregard for the consequences of breaking the law.”
The statement said the police had a commitment to putting the offenders away and throwing the weight of the law at those who continually choose to offend, no matter how long it may take to apprehend them.
“In that regard, the police want to assure the public that they are doing everything they can to nab these offenders. At the same time, the community's role in supporting the police with helpful information and detailed accounts of any suspicious activity is important.
“Investigations and the success of the police work can be made easier with the cooperation of the public. Parents must also bear in mind that youngsters can be susceptible to unlawful behaviour and therefore should be monitored more responsibly.”
The police could achieve excellent results like this more frequently if everyone played a constructive and positive part in stopping crime, the statement added.
On Friday, Detective Inspector Areumu Ingaua of the CIB said property seized in the operation was being held at the police station. He said police would be appealing to people to call at the station to identify it, ideally between 12pm and 1pm on Wednesday and Thursday this week.