Concern over rise in burglaries

Overall crime is down compared with last year

Burglars are taking advantage of the summer travel season to target unoccupied homes and condos, police have warned.

Officers say they are working with secondhand dealers in Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands in an effort to cut off the supply chain for stolen goods following a rise in break-ins this year.

There were 262 burglaries in the first six months of 2013, a statistic that is concerning cops in spite of an overall reduction in crime.

Police have made 63 arrests for burglaries but are urging people to install proper locks on windows and doors and note the serial numbers of items like iPods, tablets and laptops that are commonly targeted.

Statistics for the first six months of 2013, released on Wednesday by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, show a substantial drop in reported crime, compared with the same period last year. Crime fell by just over 20 per cent, with a total of 905 offences reported so far in 2013, compared with 1136 for the first six months of 2012.

Almost every recorded crime category has shown a decrease with a significant reduction in theft offences, domestic assaults and robberies.

Burglaries remain a serious concern, however, rising around 7 per cent from 243 reported offences last year.

Superintendent Adrian Seales, head of district operations for the RCIPS, said: “Daytime burglaries are a major issue for us at the moment. It’s clear that burglars are targeting houses and condos whilst people are out at work, or on holiday.

“Our beat officers have been meeting with Neighbourhood Watch coordinators and talking to people throughout the islands to offer crime prevention advice. We have officers conducting high visibility and unmarked patrols at all times of the day and night.

“We are also liaising closely with secondhand dealers to ensure that all possible steps are taken to prevent the resale of stolen goods.”

Chief Inspector Frank Owens said police on the Sister Islands were working with a secondhand dealer who did business there.

“Residents and business owners should make sure that they note serial numbers, take photographs and mark their property. That way, if their property is stolen, the police will be able to work with the dealer to ensure that if it’s offered to them for sale, it’s identified quickly and the suspect arrested.”