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Apr 28, 2004

Police target car breakins

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It’s a growing problem that police say they have no intention of ignoring. And tonight they’ve got an arrest to prove it. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods has the story from the Queen Street station.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Sometime after ten on Monday night someone gained access into this pickup truck by prying open the back window and climbing into the vehicle. Once inside, the thief wasted no time in stealing the stereo system. Such break-ins have become all too common and the police are concerned.

Senior Inspector Santiago Ciau, Officer Commanding C.I.B.

“The statistics are showing that we had eighty-four break-ins, across the city, of motor vehicles and it gives the police work because we then need to implement more patrols, put more manpower on the streets to try and prevent these break?ins.”

A recent incident actually caught on a surveillance tape led police to arrest and charge twenty-six year old Wilwest King for theft and handling stolen goods. During a search of the suspect?s vehicle authorities recovered this laptop computer that belongs to a B.T.L. employee. Since the police initiative began, they have confiscated a variety of stolen items.

Senior Inspector Santiago Ciau

“What I advise is that anything of value must not be left in the vehicle. And if they are left for a short while, then it must be concealed so that whenever a person pass by and peeps inside the vehicle, they will not see anything that will attract them to break into that vehicle.”

While authorities did manage to bust a ring of car thieves, they suspect there are more groups operating in the city.

One group that has consistently aided police anti-crime efforts is The Belize Chinese Association.

Peter Quan, Vice President, B.C.A.

“Crime is an element that attacks everybody in the community. It is not just targeted to the Chinese merchants or the Chinese community, it is to the roots Belizeans, the business community, everybody at large. So, it is only with a united effort that we can help in preventing such crimes, whether it be on a small scale to the highest scale.”

This morning B.C.A. handed over to a refurbished police patrol branch a new computer with all accessories. According to Inspector Chester Williams, the Acting Commander of the Patrol Branch, the new look is all part of morale-building.

Inspector Chester Williams, Acting O.C., Patrol Branch

“We want the officers to work in a comfortable environment where they can better serve the community, and likewise, we want when the community come in to the patrol branch that they see a place where they could be comfortable making their reports or whatever the case may be. It?s just a part of providing quality service to the people.”

“The computer itself will be used to create a patrol analysis database whereby we will be able to track the areas where crimes are more prevalent so that we could adequately deploy our men on patrol.”

The police department not only has disciplined officers who have abused their authority, but rewarded officers who have excelled in their duty. Sgt Dennis Myles, who is attached to the Benque Viejo police station, became the fourth police officer to receive such a reward.

Sgt. Dennis Myles, Officer of the Month

“I believe what you put in is what you?re gonna get out of it. If you put in your all, you should expect something good at the end of the day.”

Jacqueline Woods reporting for News 5.

Sgt. Myles has been with the Police Department for twelve years.

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