Burglary ruins tourist’s holiday

Monday September 25, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor

I write this letter reluctantly.

 

Today I mentioned a burglary we had endured on the Facebook page Rarotonga Community & Beyond.

I was asked to write a letter to the editor about what happened to us. However, I personally think the letter should go to the elders of Rarotonga and I address it to them.

My partner and I visited Rarotonga for the second time. This time to celebrate my 60th birthday (twice). It was so much fun leaving New Zealand as a 60-year-old and arriving in Rarotonga as a 59-year-old.

Last year we had a great time in Rarotonga and visited the same bungalow again. The people there are very friendly and the bungalow is right on the beach. They told us always to lock the doors and to leave the lights on.

Last year we came across a young burglar (in his early 20s), and disturbed him from entering our bungalow. As soon as he saw us he ran away. The rest of the holiday went without any incident.

We told friends what had happened and several told us stories they had heard.

This time we got burgled. Every time before we left the bungalow we both checked the doors. We usually said “Arm the doors”, just to make fun of doing this procedure. 

We went out for a drink and came back around 10pm and found the door to the porch wide open. It wasn’t possible for the door to be closed again because it had been forced open. It had to be wired shut (from the outside - there was no other way to keep the door closed for the night) and we put a wooden garden bench in front of it that we could hear if someone would try to open it during the night.

The bedroom window couldn’t be closed because it was twisted with force. The landlord told us they would get the door and window fixed the next day. We couldn’t sleep very well and decided to leave Rarotonga two weeks before the end of our holidays. I was very stressed and didn’t feel safe anymore.

That particular type of lock could be forced open very easily. After getting a new lock it would just be a matter of time before it would be forced open again. The landlord said that they hadn’t been burgled for a long time. That tells me that they had been burgled before. And I wonder what does, “For a long time,” mean? Is it a month or two?

In my 60 years living in Switzerland and New Zealand I have personally never encountered a burglary. And I don’t want to put myself in this position again.

Suggestions to the elders of this island: It should be compulsory to have safe locks on accommodations. I am sure there are safe ones available.

There should be an agency where someone could mention (anonymously if necessarily) when they know that someone is carrying out burglaries. And these burglars should get professional help. I personally think that someone who steals has a mental illness.

I write this letter in the hope of providing productive criticisms.

            Christine

            (Name and address supplied)

 

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