Police warn of serial burglars on the loose

Monday September 30, 2019 Written by Published in Crime
Ministry of Justice building. 19092737 / GRAY CLAPHAM Ministry of Justice building. 19092737 / GRAY CLAPHAM

Burglars target more government offices as rates of break-ins soar. 

The numbers of government office break-ins have doubled in just one night.

Police are once again looking for culprits who entered another five public service offices.

Over the past two months, Internal Affairs, National Environment Service, Ports Authority and Business Trade Investment Board had all been targeted.

Now, burglars have broken into several Ministry of Finance and Economic Managements offices, and brazenly, into the Ministry of Justice building.

Police spokesman Trevor Pitt said missing items are being determined but so far they had identified an amount of cash from one of the offices.

With what looked like a serial burglar or burglars, Pitt said investigations were ongoing.

In addition, Cook Islands Security Service said a heavy safe was stolen from the Motor Centre last week. A trolley could have been used to get the safe to a parked vehicle next to Cook Islands Building Supplies in Panama, which was also a target.

Chris Denny, the security firm’s director, said there had been many break-ins and burglaries around the island. It was very important people secured their property. Rental accommodation and locals’ homes ware also targeted daily, he said.

Ministry of Justice Secretary Tamatoa Jonassen said the culprit forced his or her way into the justice building and broke a lock to gain access to the staff area.

In their initial assessments, nothing was stolen, he said. “There appears to have been an attempt to access our cash register, but the register is cleared daily and banking is done daily so there was nothing there for the culprit to steal.”

Part of the building were covered by security cameras, and they were in the process of installing additional cameras.

“The police are investigating the break-in and we provide footage to them to assist with the case.”

Cook Islands Investment Corporation has been very responsive and were repairing the damage caused by the forced entry, Jonassen added.

No arrests have been made, but police are calling on witnesses or to advise them of anyone who look suspicious and is loitering in the town area during the night.

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