Robberies worry tourism

Friday August 03, 2018 Written by Published in Crime

A spate of robberies targeting accommodation occupied by visitors to Rarotonga has the tourism industry worried.

 

On Tuesday night, a holiday home in Vaimaanga was robbed. The victims, who were visiting the Cook Islands for the first time, lost valuable items including a laptop which contained their business plans and wedding photos.

Property manager Charleen Heather is offering a reward for the return of the items, including keys and documents in the laptop.

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation chief executive officer Halatoa Fua said it was disheartening to read about robberies targeting tourism accommodation.

He said the thefts undermined the hard work of everyone involved in the tourism industry. 

“I understand that the police are conducting the necessary investigations and community projects underway to address this issue,” Fua said.

“May we urge visitors to take preventative measures to avoid this from happening. Lock your property if left unattended and avoid leaving valuable items in the open.”

Heather, who started operating the holiday home business just last month, said the robbery occured between 7pm and 10pm.

“We just opened last month and we already been targeted. There have been a few robberies targeting tourism accommodation in this area recently,” she said.

“There are a total of six visitors staying with us and a couple with their first baby on the way had most of their things taken.”

The couple had their laptop and hard drive, containing vital information about their new business, stolen.

Other items that went missing included an iPod, wi-fi dongle, two UE-Boom speakers (white and grey), two hair straighteners, six branded sunglasses, a battery pack (charger device), a car key, a handbag and a Clinique make up bag containing more than $800 worth of products.

“This is an attack on not only our client, but our people, our country. Please give it back! No questions asked. You cannot open it, sell it, as it is all special editions. Also their families’ sentimental wedding photos, family documents etc. are in that laptop,” Heather said.

She acknowledged the support of the police, adding three officers attended the case were conducting surveillance in the area.

Anyone with information regarding these stolen items can contact the police on 22499 or Heather on 81655 or 29227.

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