Do more to protect your property, police urge Manchester residents

MANDEVILLE, Manchester Following a spate of break-ins, including the Returned Residents Association of Mandeville building on Bonitto Crescent, police here are urging greater community partnership and individual security awareness.

Superintendent Lloyd Darby, head of the Manchester police, told the Jamaica Observer that thieves were preying on residents who often leave their premises for long periods without making security arrangements.

“We have seen where we have numerous break-ins across the parish. All different types of break-ins break-ins in the night, in the day and the phenomenal number of people leaving their premises for long periods of time, not having anybody or having a part-time caretaker who comes there now and then is not enough,” said Darby.

“Persons have to try their best to secure their properties. Getting someone to stay there is the best thing, because these thieves know and they study when the houses are left unoccupied, so we try to reach out to our citizens in all forms,” he said.

“We have our Community Safety and Security Branch that is mandated to reach out to our citizens, and we encourage citizens who have WhatsApp groups and neighbourhood watches to invite us so we can share security tips in a way that will protect citizens… Our investigative and operational efforts are targeting persons using intelligence,” he added.

Darby also encouraged people to be careful when doing massive transactions, including car sales.

“We encourage people not to move with large sums of money. Be very secretive and careful [about] who knows information of business transactions, be it car sales, sales of animals, anything at all that makes a person come into [possession] of larger sums of money than is normal,” he said.

Early in July, 35-year-old Richard Powell was gunned down by a robber after he sold a car for $700,000 in the Chantilly community. The cash was reportedly taken by the robber.

Meanwhile, a member of the Returned Residents Association of Mandeville, who asked not to be named, said it is disheartening to know that the association’s building was broken into and items stolen.

“Thieves stole a stereo system, microwave and over 20 chairs. They broke the bottom of a door to gain access. They tried to get in some years ago, but they didn’t. This time around, they stole items. They even took fans off the wall and it appears that when they realised the fans weren’t working, they left them,” said the returnee.

A neighbouring premises, where a church is located, was last month broken into by thieves, twice. They took a deep freezer, wall fans, kitchen equipment and communion vessels.

In the Marshalls Pen area, residents are fearful that an unoccupied property is creating a haven for thieves.

“People need to look after their property even when they are overseas, because the house that has been left to run down and the grass hasn’t been cut for such a long time was where a thief went after he broke into a policeman’s car across the road. Luckily, the police caught the thief,” said a resident who asked not to be named.

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