House break-ins soar in southwest New Providence
Police say they have seen an”unprecedented surge”in house break-ins in southwestern New Providence in recent weeks with more than 60 reports in one month alone.
Officer-in-Charge of the Carmichael Police Station Superintendent Paul Rolle said these have more than doubled in the past two months.
On average, he said, there would be about 30 break-ins per month. Although he didn’t have an exact figure, Rolle said there were over 60 break-ins over a 30-day period.
“Starting around the last part of October was when[criminals]really launched an onslaught on this area,”he said.”It took us a couple of weeks before we were able to identify who these persons were and we pursued them relentlessly to protect the residents in this area.”
Rolle said officers have recently broken three of the five major housebreaking rings they have identified and arrested 10 men between the ages of 20 and 21.
He added that police have also recovered over$20,000 worth of stolen goods from the homes of the men who were arrested, including laptops, cell phones, tires, video games and jewelery.
Police also reportedly confiscated about$3,000 worth of drugs out of the homes.
Rolle said police have cleared up 44 of the matters reported over the past month. But he added that the job is far from over.
Police have already identified two of the alleged major players in the ring who have so far eluded the authorities.
Police have released an All Points Bulletin for David Cunningham Cooper of Lifebouy Street, and Keno Johnson of Coconut Grove.
Rolle said it’s difficult to say just how many people are involved in the rings.
Director of the National Crime Prevention Unit Superintendent Stephen Dean said most of the men who were arrested are”career criminals”.
One of the men was previously charged with 15 counts of housebreaking and another man was charged with nine counts of housebreaking.
Dean said police have noticed that the southwest, more than any other area in New Providence, is being targeted by criminals.
“This is where most of the housing developments are. This is where the single mothers and fathers are,”he said.
Another reason police believe the house break-ins are so heavily concentrated in the southwest is because many of the homes are not as guarded as they are in other areas.
Dean said police are meeting with developers in hopes of convincing them to begin to offer homes for sale with security packages included.
“When you talk about the homes in the west and the east, in most cases there are gated communities and they have security. A lot of these people have surveillance,”Dean added.
Rolle said police are also going to begin to take a no-nonsense approach to the persons who receive stolen goods.
“We are looking for a number of persons for receiving,”he said.
Dean pointed out that criminals are able to flourish because of the support they receive from some members of the public.
“If the public denies access and ensures that there is no market for these people, we believe that it would cut down on the amount of break-ins,”Dean said.
Police are advising residents to remain on the alert and to take as many security measures as possible to protect their homes.
One of the methods the criminals use involves them knocking on doors.
Police say if someone answers, the criminals would pretend to be looking for someone who does not live in the house. However, if no one answers, they would likely try to break into that home, police warned.
Rolle encouraged residents to report such incidents. Police say for the most part criminals are targeting homes that are empty during the day.
Anyone with information on the break-ins in southwestern New Providence is asked to call 361-9785.