A burglary team, created to address break-ins in the Eastern Districts, has seen huge success over the last three weeks with officers arresting five teenagers and one adult in connection with 11 offences of burglary and one offence of handling stolen property.
The team, made up of detectives from the Criminal Investigation Department and the Uniformed Section, was established in response to a rise in the number of offences taking place over the last few months. Although year-to-date burglary rates for the Eastern Districts are lower this year than last year, the numbers of offences being reported were beginning to rise. So far this year 21 offences of burglary have been reported in the Eastern Districts, compared to 31 for the same period last year.
A vast amount of stolen property has also been recovered including cell phones, portable video games, assorted jewellery, electrical equipment and sunglasses.
‘We are making real headway in tackling break-ins,’ said Area Commander Chief Inspector Richard Barrow. ‘However, we would always prefer an offence not to happen in the first place. Although forced entry has affected some premises, we are still seeing too many cases occur where entry has been gained through open windows and insecure doors.
A burglar is much more likely to target an insecure home than a secure one.’
All residents are encouraged to follow simple crime prevention measures such as locking doors and windows. Tenants who are not happy with the security of their homes should speak with their landlords.
Residents are also reminded that they should be wary when it comes to purchasing second hand items and to look out for sales where the vendor may have come by the item through illegitimate means.
‘Be aware of purchasing second hand items,’ warned Mr Barrow. ‘If something looks like too good a deal, or it doesn’t come with all its parts such charges or warranties, you should be wary. Handing stolen goods is an offence and if you are suspicious of a sale you should report your concerns to the police.’
Island-wide burglary remains a concern for the RCIPS. George Town in particular has seen a recent rise in break-ins and police are working hard to identify offenders and recover property. Residents are being urged to assist in the fight against burglary by taking note of the following advice and guidance. More information can also be found on the RCIPS website at www.rcips.ky/household_and_property.htm.
• Ensure doors and windows are kept locked and secure – even if you are just popping out for a few minutes. Use window stoppers from hardware stores so even if the lock is breached, the window cannot be slid back. Do this also for sliding doors.
• Do not leave a spare key hidden under a mat or plant pot.
• Make sure keys are kept out of reach of windows and doors.
• Look out for your neighbours – if you notice something suspicious call the police.
Don’t tempt burglars:
• Keep valuable items out of view. Draw curtains or close blinds.
• Make sure gardening equipment is secure and not left lying around.
• Do not leave valuables in cars.
• Let them know you have taken precautions – if you have an alarm put the box or sticker on show and if you have a dog put up a warning sign.
• If you are going away ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your property and ask them to open and close curtains or put lights on to make your house look lived in.
• If you are leaving your car at the airport – ask a neighbour to park in your space occasionally.
• Ask a neighbour to collect the Sunday paper.
• Take a look around your home and imagine you are a burglar. Look for security weak points.
• Fit locks to windows and doors – if they are easily visible they may deter some thieves.
• Consider fitting an alarm or motion sensor light outside the house.
• Mark your goods with your PO Box so that if they are stolen and recovered they can be easily identified as belonging to you.
• Record all serial numbers of items in case they are stolen.
Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime
Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.