The Cayman Islands reported nearly 300 burglaries occurring during the first seven months of this year.
Although that is a slight decrease from the same seven months of 2011, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Superintendent Marlon Bodden said burglaries remained a concern – especially in specific areas of Grand Cayman – for investigators.
Out of the 293 break-ins that happened between 1 January, 2012, and 31 July, 2012, Mr. Bodden said 55 of those – about 19 per cent – occurred in homes on the beach side of the West Bay Road/North Church Street area.
According to police, another 24 break-ins happened in the Windsor Park/Walkers Road area, 18 occurred in the Prospect area and eight more occurred on the land side of the West Bay Road/North Church Street area.
Most other areas of the Islands identified by police had only reported four or five burglaries since the beginning of 2012.
Mr. Bodden said a number of factors were leading to the burglaries including the Islands current economic situation and certain homes that were being targeted by offenders where residents had not taken “suitable” preventative steps.
The largest contributing factor in the crimes was carelessness, he said.
“Individuals fail to lock doors, windows and leave valuables exposed,” he said.
Mr. Bodden said police were focusing their efforts in the identified “hot spot” areas, essentially where the largest number of break-ins were occurring. However, he said criminal suspects generally gravitate to other areas if patrols become too intense in one section of the Island.
“It’s like a balloon; you squeeze one end and it comes out the other,” Mr. Bodden said.
Particular items being targeted in the home break-ins included flat-screen TVs, jewellery and smaller electronic devices. However, Mr. Bodden said simply items such as food and toiletries were also being taken in some cases.
Although no specific government regulations exist for how pawn shops and second hand stores must handle property they receive, Mr. Bodden said police work closely with those businesses in detecting whether stolen property has changed hands.
Handling or purchasing stolen items in Cayman is also a crime.