The RCIPS has seen a significant increase in burglaries in recent weeks, with most occurring in Bodden Town and West Bay. The burglaries in Bodden Town are mostly at residential properties, involving forced entry with valuable goods being stolen. However, in West Bay, recent burglaries have been of a more opportunistic nature and have involved the theft of food items, cigarettes and small sums of cash from vehicles or homes where entry was gained through open windows or unlocked doors.
Police are investigating these cases and have been making a number of arrests in recent weeks. Last week, a woman, aged 50 of West Bay, was arrested and charged with Burglary in relation an incident on Thursday, 7 December, where jewelry was stolen from a residence on Reverend Blackman Road, West Bay. In addition, a 19-year-old man of Bodden Town was charged with Possession of Criminal Property in relation to a burglary on Tuesday, 21 November, in Bodden Town. A search of his residence recovered a large of suspected stolen property, including a television and several watches. He appeared in court on Wednesday, 6 December, and is now on Court bail.
Additionally, this week a woman, aged 44 of George Town, was arrested on suspicion of Burglary for an incident that occurred in George Town on 7 December, where a quantity of cash and some household items were taken. Today, 13 December, the woman was charged with this Burglary.
Two further arrests were made in Bodden Town this week as a result of a search warrant at an address in the Cumber Avenue area. When officers arrived to serve the warrant and conduct the search, two males in a vehicle at the address fled on foot. Officers pursued the men, and apprehended one man while the other escaped. A search of the vehicle uncovered stolen property from multiple burglaries in Bodden Town. The man, aged 19 of Bodden Town, was arrested and subsequently charged with Burglary and Handling Stolen Goods and is appearing in court today, 13 December.
The second man, aged 18 of Bodden Town, who fled the scene, was apprehended by officers Monday, 11 December and arrested on suspicion of Handling Stolen Goods. He has since appeared in court and been remanded on a previous incident involving a theft of a vehicle.
As a result of these arrests officers confiscated a large amount of suspected stolen property including a Rolex watch and other jewelry, electronics, gaming devices, toys, and designer sunglasses, among other items. A number of these items have already been identified and claimed by their rightful owners, however, a picture of unclaimed items is attached. Further pictures of unclaimed items can be found on the RCIPS Facebook page. Anyone who would like to contact us regarding these items can contact the Bodden Town Police Station at 947-2220.
“What we believe we are seeing in the Eastern Districts are multiple burglaries committed by a small group of individuals,” said Detective Superintendent Pete Lansdown. “These burglaries are not random, but target residences that appear vulnerable or may have valuable property.”
In light of these patterns, police are reminding members of the public to always be sure that their homes are secured whenever leaving the premises and at night. This means that all windows and doors should be closed and locked. Premises should also be well-lit. In addition, goods of value should not be kept where they can be seen from outside. Boxes from expensive purchases should be placed in bins or dumpsters out of sight, or kept indoors and brought out just before garbage collection. It is also important to take similar steps to secure vehicles. Ensure vehicles are kept locked when you are away from them, and do not leave valuables inside vehicles, especially where they can be seen by passersby.
“During the holiday season we often see an increase in burglaries and thefts,” Detective Superintendent Lansdown added. “While we continue to do our part to respond to, investigate, and prevent burglaries, it is always important for the public to do what they can to help keep their property secure. We believe that following these tips, many of which are not costly, can substantially reduce the vulnerability of your property.”
Since 1 December there have been 24 burglaries, with 7 occurring in Bodden Town and 8 in West Bay. There have also been 5 in George Town, 3 in North Side and 1 in East End, while none have been reported in the Sister Islands.