A recent spate of shop and residential break-ins have residents of the Central Abaco area, and in particular Marsh Harbour, reasonably upset and wanting answers.
The Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) in recent weeks have charged two juvenile males and one adult male in relation to some of those break-ins. The two juveniles were charged and pled guilty in March with breaking and entering in conjunction with shops and residences recently; the adult male was sentenced to five years in jail at the end of February for a shop break-in that happened late last year according to police.
Superintendent Hilton Cash said that they have seen a recent proliferation of break-ins to shops in the Marsh Harbour area in the last two months and to residences in the Marsh Harbour and Central Pines areas.
The culprits he said stole electronic items, cash and in some cases furniture.
Mr. Cash noted that they believed a group of juveniles and young men were working together in perpetrating the break-ins. He added that parents need to be vigilant of their children, especially when they are in possession of items they know they shouldn’t have.
He also said the police have increased plain-clothes and uniformed patrols of these areas and he said they will also seek to crack down on those persons who are buying stolen goods.
He said he wants to issue a “strong warning to persons purchasing stolen property that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for receiving stolen items.”
One resident who was the victim of an attempted break-in was very upset as they felt the police should have been able to do more. They questioned why there were no regular patrols, if they lacked vehicles or resources to serve the community.
They noted that a concerned resident was able to patrol their own home and interrupt the would-be culprits attempting to break-in their home. They noted that it should not be hard for police to notice four young men with backpacks wandering neighborhoods during the day.
The resident is also concerned what will happen if these young break-in to the wrong home at the wrong time.
Mr. Cash added that he encourages shop and home owners to be more diligent in ensuring that their premises are securely locked up and windows closed. He asked that suspicious persons wandering neighborhoods be reported for the police to investigate.
He also noted for those persons with security cameras to ensure the lighting in those areas is adequate to assist in getting positive identifications of culprits.
Finally he urged businesses to be proactive having adequate light in their stores and to give emergency contact to the police so in the event an alarm is triggered they are able to contact someone and gain access to possibly catch persons in the act.