Carelessness fuels burglaries

| 30/08/2012

burglar (220x300).jpg(CNS): Although year on year burglaries on Grand Cayman are falling, the crime still remains a significant problem in Cayman and in many cases the carelessness of home and business owners is encouraging opportunism, a senior police officer has said. By 31 July this year there were 20 less burglaries recorded than last year, with 293 incidents compared to 313 in 2011. Police also boast a good detection rate, having brought charges in almost 58% of the cases reported last year. Although police are playing their part, Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden from CID said owners must take steps to ensure their property is secure as there are still many occasions where windows and doors were unlocked when a burglary took place.

Encouraged by the fall in the crime and the high detection rates, Bodden said the police still appreciate the impact burglary has on the community at large. As a result, the RCIPS remains focused on tackling the problem with a multi-faceted approach which calls for prevention on the part of the community as well as the police.

He explained that officers are patrolling both in the open and covertly and focusing particularly on areas with the highest number of break-ins, such as the seaside of Seven Mile Beach where 55 burglaries have occurred so far this year, with a further 8 on the land side and Prospect with 18 reported incidents. He said there were 24 incidents reported in the Walkers Road area.

However, Bodden said it was “often like squeezing a balloon” — police increase visibility in one neighbourhood the burglaries pop up elsewhere. He said that while there were numbers of motivated offenders, the majority of property crimes result from opportunism fuelled by the carelessness of owners. 

Bodden said he wanted the community to know that the RCIPS takes burglary seriously as it has a wide impact. When business owners become victims of crimes, he said, it affects them in different ways, not just economically, but emotionally and physically. The senior officer said that when they are repeatedly hit they become disillusioned about carrying on in business and that has a wider impact on people’s jobs and the entire economy, so the police are doing all they can to try and minimize the crime.

While the police are monitoring and charging suspects and chasing up routes where stolen goods are fenced, as well as patrolling the streets, he said, the public has also played its part in assisting with investigations and information.

However, he said, the issue of security was essential to reducing burglaries and their impact. Bodden spoke of the effectiveness of quality CCTV, alarms and other sophisticated security measures but reminded people about common sense things like good lighting, which is a deterrent in its own right but also necessary to help produce good CCTV footage. He remninded home and business owners to ensure that obstacles to visibility, such as overgrown trees and bushes, are trimmed and said that people should lock doors on windows on their properties.

Neighbours also have their part to play in keeping a look-out for each other. Bodden noted that when criminals break in to homes in a condo complex they often hit more than one property. One vulnerable condo can attract an opportunist burglar, who will then hit several apartments at the same time.

Bodden pointed to the work police do in cooperating with other agencies, such as customs, immigration, planning and the department of labour. He said the police try to help the suspects and steer them away from a life of crime but they pursue the prosecution of offenders.

With the range of goods being stolen increasingly diverse, the theft of food and toiletry items as well as more common things such as electrical goods, cash and jewellery, reflects the current state of the economy. Bodden emphasised, however, that while economic hardshipmay be one of the causes of crime, burglary is still illegal.

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Category: Crime

Comments (37)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Found it !! Found it !!!!

    After a recent break in and theft ( I was away from my home for 1 hour),

    the culprits managed to go through every closet, every bag, back pack, chest of draws,

    and cabinet in the house.  Gone were cell phones, computers, cash, and jewlery.

    I was able to recover the jewlery after searching endlessly at each and every one of these

    "cash for gold" places.  While in these establishments, I was amazed at the array

    of felonious looking charaters that came in hocking computers, jewlery, and watches.

    I wouldn't be suprised it the customer service representatives see the same people

    on a regular basis.  These "outlets" need to be controlled and monitored.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would go as far as to suggest closing them down.  They are only encouraging thieves to steal and sell, thereby living off of honest, good people sweat.

       

  2. Anonymous says:

    How about an undercover operation to catch these low life’s!! It's not rocket science.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey Marlon, I want you to tell Derek Haines it was his fault his house got robbed in which was in the CayCompass….

  3. Anonymous says:

    ..hmm – While the cops spend gas & time searching for lost canoes outside our waters, the druggies have free access to our homes and valuables.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where I can see the police remind the public to lock doors, windows, etc….to say we are fueling the burglaries is just unprofessional and shows what we have on our police force.  The truth is, if I want to keep my windows unlocked to get a cool breeze instead of being "robbed" by CUC what you are saying Marlon is that is will be my fault if someone comes in…you know what they have no right in my house, so I guess us the people of the Cayman Islands need to take matters into our own hands….NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO ENTER A PERSON"S HOUSE IF NOT INVITED and deserves whatever they get.  I bet then they will think twice about breaking into someone's house for the police will not be there to assist and even after the crime has taken place it takes them god only knows how long to get to you!!!

       

       

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wow – Is this the best the 'top brass' is capable of?

    You add this insult to the recent "Missing/untested cocaine &the "freed suspect"; and highlights such as the "runaway felon" let free at the RCIPS' Central Station's front door a while ago – and still unfound; and the "break-in" and theft of drugs/evidence & God knows what else from the RCIP secure storage WITHIN the police station — and we have to wonder why and where are the extra resources going…

    Better to allow us citisens the freedom and the means to defend ourselves properly!!

     

    • Anonymous says:

      If the police and the court system would do their job properly then we won't have to worry about "unwanted" visitors in our houses or businessess…

    • Anonymous says:

      Call the police after you have done your job.  Anyone who enters my property uninvited will have a different tale to tell.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yeah…Its OUR fault we are being burgled!  That's waht the cop told me.  I was robbed by some A/C workers who I caught in the act and called the police…when the cop showed up they were giving me back some of the items (except Cash) that they stole and the cop said it was my fault because I didn't have my bedroom doors locked inside my house.  The officer then turned to the apprehended crooks, fist bumped them and let them go!   WHAT A SAFE PLACE TO LIVE!  It will not happen again because if I catch someone inmy house the next time I will call the "Black Wagon" with the body bags and not the useless police who are obviously behind most of the crime on this corrupt island!

    • Anonymous says:

      My professional advice to good  citizens – dont call these cops until you trap and ''fix' the criminal, and there is a mess for them to clean up… 

      Since that's the best they seem to be able to do anyways.

  6. Anonymous says:

    don't let the fingerprint guys come in….it's complete waste of time and you will spend days trying to clean the stuff up……

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree.. its nasty stuff to get off. I still have stains I cannot get out of woodwork and on the outside of the building. I wouldnt mind if there was a result at the end of this but this is a pointless exercise.

  7. Anonymous says:

    A spate in South Sound and it makes the front page news this week… WOW!

    Yet these 'rashes' have been present in other districts/areas on a full time basis!

    I know of neighbourhoods where witness have seen the men, reported to RCIP and yet nothing is followed up…

    Many of these clean out the entire house of ALL valuables! SOmetimes even appliances!

    There is also a trend for new homes, just furnished, to be cleaned out before the occupants can move in.

    Instead of the usual RCIP blame shifting, why not do some actual preventative policing / education — AND inform people when there is a rash of burgularies in a certain area???

    Or.. would that make Cayman look too bad to have every burgulary reported?

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, its the same old and very familiar 'bury your head in the sand guys' attitude that has seen all sorts of criminality, including widespread corruption get a hold in Cayman.

  8. Anonymous says:

     

    Is the Superintendent saying that I am careless to leave my valuables laying around in the confines of my home?  I thought my home was a private restricted area only open to those that are invited in.  Is he saying that I should hide away my watches, chains, and my everyday jewelry?  Let me inform the superintendent – my house was broken into and the level of searching that went on was remarkable.  These thieves seemed to have taken lessons in searches.  Even my food seasonings were searched.  So where do the superintendent suggest I hide my every day jewelry?  I do think that bit of house holders be careless by not hiding their valuables in their home is ridiculous.  Many of these thieves are repeat offenders being given a slap on the wrist.  They need to be taught a lesson by a lengthy sentence.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Get a good quality safe and bolt it down, join the real world.

    • Anonymous says:

      Even the moron gangsters and wannabes on this island watch TV, that's probably all they do. So its really not that hard to learn how to methodically search through a premises if you watch enough crime based screen time.

  9. Anonymous says:

    And I thought the cause was local crackheads.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yeah – drug addiction and unemployment also fuel burglaries. Anybody issuing any statements or offering any solutions on those issues? Thought not.

  11. noname says:

    Seems the only one who got it right was the guy who shot the burglar….no more problems and I bet no one goes near his house!!!!

    If you think I am callous, try  this on for size.

    Asked a former RCIP how to to protect your home if an invader is caught inside…answer beat them senseless and drop them a few blocks away as the RCIP are basically useless!!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is insulting to those of us who have had our homes broken into.

    In my instance the police took over 2 1/2 hrs to arrive on the scene. One officer came in talking in his cell phone – very obviously not police business. The next two days were 'our officers' days off so nothng was done. We finally gave our statement 3 days after the robbery – for which we had to attend the police station at 11pm and never left until 2.30am, part of the reason for this was the officers inablilty to type the statement. He was using one finger and had to locate each letter on the keyboard.

    Needless to say, nothing was recovered, tthere was no follow up from them, although I did call the station a few times for an update. Fingerprints also came up with nothing, just left an almighty mess to clean up.

    The police need to start taking this seriously, do not treat it as just another petty robbery, Peoples houses are being emptied, this is not the work of an opportunist, but organised career criminals. A covered van would have to have been used to remove the amount and size of what was taken from my house and I know I am not alone.

    • Anonymous says:

      I too am so angry and insulted by this. It makes my blood boil to think they can have the audacity to blame us homeowners.

      I think all of us who have experienced this have our own personal story on how the police dealt with their situation.

      Reading all the comments I do not think I am the only one to have experienced their gross incompetence.

      This is an epidemic – police treat it as so and start dealing with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup – this is a typical response (if any at all) seen by myself and others too

  13. Anonymous says:

    If I read this correctly the police are somewhat blaming the victims.Maybe if there were stiffer penalties and true attempt by the police to aprehend the criminals THAT would cut down on crime!!!

  14. Not My Fault says:

    We can all question the statistics reported by RCIP which equates to one burglary every 18 hours. I can speak from personal experience when calling the rcip to report a burglary I was asked if I want an officer to come out to take a statement!? Makes me wonder if the officer didn’t come out if my report would be included in the crime statistics.

    Just as important though is this worrying stance the RCIP is taking that anything bad happening to the public is our fault. “If your house is entered its because you didn’t lock your window”. The problem with this approach is that it will soon lead us all down the road of burglar bars and bodyguards.

    What would be refreshing is to hear the police calling for tougher penalties. It makes no sense to have a house with windows if I can’t open them. And then for our police to claim its because I left my window open that’s why I found someone crawling into my house at 9pm. If only I had my cow cod I wouldve slapped the p!ss out of him!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Not just carelessness. Most I hear of were where there was break ins to doors n windows. RCIPS pls focus on the selling stolen goods market too. This too is a crime. Crack down on ppl and stores buying and selling items of doubtful origin. Check out some ecay sellers at random.

    Home owners, note down serial numbers so if your stuff is stolen u can tell police the numbers, so when they next raid a criminal’s house they can check his tv against a list of stolen ones.

    • Alan Roffey says:

      I whole heatedly agree with this sentiment however, in a recent incident with my former company, we had found a power drill at one of the fencing stores with "Andro" and a Tool ID number engraved on it. We checked our database records and matched the serial number. We showed it to the Police and yet there was no arrest, or even serious questioning, of the fencer for handling stolen property.

       

      In another incident a couple of years ago, we were tipped off that ladders with "Andro" painted on them were being loaded intoa container. The police were called but again achieved precisely nothing even though they saw the container being loaded and the people loading it.

       

      It's obvious that there is a major crime ring that routinely steals stuff and ships it off island to sell. If no action is taken by the police, even when the perpetrators are caught red handed, what is the hope for prevention?

       

      In these circumstances, it's not unreasonable for people to draw the conclusion that there is some degree of collusion in these criminal activities.

       

      I have a small plaque in my office that says "Either you're here with a solution or you're part of the problem."

       

      Which is it RCIP? 

  16. Anonymous says:

    The report states that almost 58% of the cases had charges brought but neglected to report the level ofconviction based upon said charges.

  17. The proof is in the pudding says:

    How about better patrols mid morning when the oppornisitc thieves are "casing the houses" as people leave for work?  Drive around at 10AM and ask WHO,WHAT,WHY, are young men driving slowly in neighborhoods looking in windows?  

    Ask any of the victims….al LOT were only gone for an hour or so to run errands.  These criminals knew the routines because they have free access WITHOUT QUESTION to roam our streets.

    Time for Immigration Enforcement to get out of their offices too!  I want to hear about people not on valid work permits being locked up instead of robbing and selling cash-for gold.

    I could lock up three people on my way to George Town this AM I assure you….so many people loitering, what do youthink they will do eventually?

    • anonymous :-) says:

      hot air… easier said than done

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm quite concerned about the number of thumbs up for this comment.

       

      I have no problem with the police stopping a member of the public and asking questions. But remember, unless the person is under arrest, they are not obliged to answer the question.

       

      If the police on this island started arresting people just for loitering, this will almost destroy any community spirit between the public and the police. You can imagine the story "the police arrested me because I was waiting outside my girlfriends house".

       

      Don't make Cayman a police state

    • Anonymous says:

      Whilst it cannot be denied by any normal thinking individual that bad people exist in all society's, one should never be so blinkered as to think that one nationality, culture or background is any more criminally inclined than another. Of course the odd 'foriegn' perpetrator will be caught and many others evade detection, but to make sweeping observations and to class any group as likely criminals is both wrong and totally misleading.

      Just read the newspapers, online news providers and watch the TV to reassure yourself that this is the brutal truth. I cannot see any evidence that would back up the theory of wide spread work permit enabled crime. In fact, the contrary appears to be true with most criminals identified as 'local' or Caymanian. Most of the criminality within the work permit world is down to the Caymanians who hold WP's for several individuals who are sometimes unknown to them and who certainly are not employed by them and taking a 'cut' to ensure silence and continued WP cover. You would also have to ask why a person on a work permit would either need to steal or want to steal after travelling for, in some cases thousands of miles to gain employment. Surely the need would only arise if they genuinely couldn't survive on the distgusting wages that they are paid by local businesses or couldn't afford to pay their over inflated rents for sub standard accommodation, again owned by unscrupulous local landlords. Its not an excuse for theft, but it does confront why a person who has left everything behind to work in a foriegn land, would risk being caught, convicted and repatriated for such small gain.

      However, the same applies to Caymanians, ask yourself why a local person would risk the fury of their local community or jail time for what is normally a relatively petty crime, (although not to those who are affected). Burglars normally target small, high value articles that are easy to remove and easy to sell, (TV's, laptops, jewellry etc..) normally to feed a drug, gambling or alcohol addiction. 

      Could it be that their own society has failed them, despite decades of prosperity and growth?   

      It is certainly true that all of last years gang violence and its victims were known Caymanian men, it is also true that most gang related crime is home grown. Whilst gang members themselves probably wouldn't dirty their own hands with petty burglary, they almost certainly supply the drugs that most burglars need to get through the day. This is certainly true in my area, where a local 'businessman' runs a gang of 'local' men to rip off houses so that he can keep them supplied with drugs. He is well known to police and has served time, however it still goes on and probably will do until some one stops his activities for good.

      Your observation and intimation that people that loiter are probably criminals is another example of the lack of reality in your argument. Most people we see on a daily basis 'loitering' are Caymanian men who either cannot work or decide not to and spend their days on welfare. The vast majority can be seen outside local bars playing cards or dominoes or attempting to beg from passers by and tourists. It would be a huge mistake to assume that just because someone is idle or disabled and unable to work, that they are a potential thief or robber.

      As for the pawn shop industry, this has always been a thorn in the side of law enforcement from whatevercountry you come from. The onus is on the shop owner to ensure the probity of the goods being sold or pawned and as these owners must be local businessmen, then any stolen goods passing through their premises are their responsibility, regardless of who they employ.

      Ultimately, theft prevention is down to us. Thieves walk amonst us and we have a responsiblity to make life difficult for them. So lock up your possessions, tell the police about suspicious activity and report those you suspect of indulging in this most anti social of crimes. It's not enough to have a perception, you need proof not prejudice. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Police need to check the conatiners that are being packed at nights in the districts and they willl find a lot of stolen goods.  Construction sights are raided after midnight and the early hours of the morning.

        When I found a thief on my premises I embraced the oppurtunity to deal with him.  The Police wasn't going to do the criminal anything, so I did my job.

        • Anonymous says:

          A distinction should be made between burglary and large scale organised criminal activity. The first is normally a home or business invasion that results in relatively small, but high value items being taken, normally by those who wish to sell quickly and buy drugs or alcohol.

          The second is the break-in to premises with the intention of removing large and/or very high value items for shipping outside of the country. These incidents must be organised by those with funding to enable the logistics of such enterprise to exist. The proceeds of which normally go to fund further criminal activity, for example, drug dealing, counterfeiting luxury goods and currency and possibly terrorism.

          The former, whilst distressing for the poor victim, is seen by law enforcement as a relatively petty crime with a very low conviction rate due to its random nature. Most burglars are opportunistic, relying on the open window or door and easy pickings. That is not always true when more organised theives target the homes of residents from overseas or local second homes, many of which aren't discovered until their owners return some weeks or months later.

          Whilst a random, opportunistic theft is difficult to solve, the deliberate targetting of unoccupied homes is much easier as those responsible normally live close by and know when property is vacant, (as happens regularly up here at Kaibo/Cayman Kai/Rum Point).  

          Basic police beat knowledge and local information can and should be utilised to catch these parasites. But first, the police officers need to get out of their cruisers, get off their phones and actually patrol on foot, talking to residents and business owners from all sides of the community. They should be pro-actively targetting known criminals, making it difficult for them to operate unimpeeded.

          Finally, the RCIPS need to get rid of the ineffective officers who either can't be bothered, have allegiances to family, friends or organisations within their communities, are afraid of 'consequences' or are just plain hopeless. Without effective law enforcers you can't have effective law enforcement. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I read the post you are responding to twice and nowhere did I see any suggestion crime is limited to "one nationality, culture or background". It is very telling for you to respond to a charge that was never made. The poster was making the perfect valid point that one source of crime is persons who may be here legally but are unemployed. Your post seemed to be primarily about pointing the finger at Caymanians.