Friday, September 25 – Police are asking homeowners to be vigilant in securing windows especially those out of public view in light of a recent upsurge in burglaries.
After record lows in most crime categories but particularly burglaries for the first and second quarter of this year, there has been a dramatic rise in the last two weeks with multiple residential burglaries mainly in the Long Bush, Lower Estate and Jose Hill areas. An apartment building in the West End area was also the scene of a double burglary. Jewelry and cash were the main items taken. A number of playstations were also reported missing.
Almost all of the burglaries were during the daytime and windows in the back of homes with removable glass louvers were the points of entry.
Between January and July of this year, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force recorded a 23 percent overall reduction in reported crime, which corresponds to 221 less victims of crime when compared to the same period in 2014.
Just over two thirds of the decrease is attributed to property related crime such as robberies, burglaries and thefts. Reported burglaries have decreased by 43%, equivalent to 57 less reports of premises being burglarised. Non-dwelling burglaries which also include businesses have decreased by 57% while dwelling burglaries decreased by 20%.
As a result of this upsurge, Police are increasing their patrols in neighbourhoods around the Territory. Simultaneously, residents are asked to be on the lookout for suspicious persons or persons walking around with tools used to pry open windows or doors and gain entry to homes.
Persons are also reminded to plan in advance to properly secure valuables such as jewelry and electronic items. Homeowners are asked to inspect their premises and secure windows and doors, particularly those out of public view and more susceptible to break-ins and to remove any implements around the premises that can be used for breaking windows. The installation of alarm and closed circuit camera systems are also encouraged.
Persons should contact the RVIPF three-digit non-emergency number 311 if anything suspicious is seen or heard. Persons can also call the confidential Crimestoppers hotline number at 800-TIPS (8477) or any officer within the RVIPF.