Two teens charged but thefts still rising

Monday September 02, 2019 Written by Published in Crime

Police believe they have made a breakthrough in solving a series of beachside smash-and-grabs thefts that created all the wrong headlines for Rarotonga.

 

Two teens, aged 17 and 18, have appeared in the High Court facing four theft charges.

These charges relate to alleged thefts at Rutaki and Papaaroa – but police are confident of laying more charges.

The two were allowed bail to return home to their families, at the request of their defence counsel Mark Short.

After much discussion with the teenager’s parents, Short said the two were relatively young and should be let out of jail while they await their next hearing.

Justice of the Peace John Whitta granted bail on the conditions that the two are not to associate with each other, to follow curfew between 7pm and 7am, not to leave Rarotonga without the approval of the High Court and to reside in their individual family home.

Justice Whitta explained to the boys that the charge is serious and it was important that they follow their bail conditions. The matter is adjourned to October 3.

The charges come as Cook Islands Security, which claimed a roll in stopping the beachside car thefts, prepares to increase patrols in Avarua from tonight.

The firm’s managing director Chris Denny said there had been an increase in crime, mainly by very young kids. “Island kids have too much freedom especially on weekends so parents need to know more where there kids are and who they hang out with,” he said.

“Most of the time it's pure boredom and no spending money that's gets them into trouble.”

Police believe they have made a significant impact on the incident of thefts. There had been a number of reported smash-and-grabs in popular tourist hotspots like Social Centre, and police were warning locals and visitors to exercise care.

Cook Islands Security announced it was installing live security cameras at the high-risk areas, with the assistance of Bluesky.

Denny acknowledged the police work, and said the camera proposal had also helped. “Since l promoted that l place bush cam cameras in beach hot spots a month ago, there have been no reports of cars been broken into.
He said teens were causing of a lot of damage and setting fires. “But overall you really can't do a crime here without the police getting you sooner or later – the island is just too small to get away with it.”

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