Tourists still the target of local thieves

Saturday December 08, 2018 Written by Published in Crime

Tourist accommodation facilities continue to be targeted by thieves as visitors fall victim to break-ins on Rarotonga each month.

 

Two incidents reported to the Police this week involved the loss of cash and other valuables from accommodation in Nikao and Matavera, says Cook Islands Police Service spokesman Trevor Pitt.

He says last month, the rate of break-ins continued to run at a high level with 15 reported during November compared to 10 in October.

“One third of those affected last month were holiday facilities. One positive development was fewer break-ins in the Titikaveka area – the result of concerted community action and police investigations. One serious case involved the remand in custody of a Titikaveka resident who is facing multiple burglary charges.

“Other suspects, either subject to court cases or sentences, are monitored by the police but continue to be a problem,” says Pitt.

“Two males – both known offenders in relation to break-ins and thefts, were not at home when police conducted curfew checks during the night this week. This (behaviour)  presents risks to the security of the community and attracts fresh charges of contempt when the offenders are located and apprehended.

Meanwhile, police made arrests at a rate of more than two a day on average throughout November, elevating it to the worst month this year for offending, adds Pitt.

November saw the highest number of arrests this year at 67, as well as the highest number of charges brought before the court at 97. That included juveniles being processed through Children’s Court and individuals subject to multiple charges.

“An underlying factor exposing the extent of crime in November was the hard work undertaken by the police in apprehending suspects following significant investigations by CIB detectives,” says Pitt.

“That included arrests made in connection to crimes committed in previous months. One significant case involves a male, currently on remand in custody, who made two appearances in court last month to face 11 charges related to offences, including burglary, arson, drugs and a firearm.”

Pitt says the arrest rate in the months before November averaged more than one a day. In court over the past six months, traffic offences dominated the proceedings,  representing 29-44 per cent of the overall charges each month.

            - Release/CS

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