Spate of break-ins a worry for residents

A screen-grab from the CCTV camera showing three robbers leaving the Raj Pharmacy in Nadera, Nasinu early this year. Picture: SCREEN-GRAB

Residents of Vakabalea near Navua are living in fear because of a spate of robberies in the area over the past few weeks.

What has them in jitters is the fact that thieves are entering homes in the dead of night while the occupants are asleep.

Naomi Volavola said her family had been forced to hide all their valuables before going to sleep.

“Vakabalea has always been a peaceful place, this is actually the first time for us to hear of robberies occurring in the area,” the 77-year-old said.

Ms Volavola said their house was broken into last Thursday and the thief or thieves made off with $250 from her purse. She said it was the second time this year their home was robbed.

“The first time was around March where the thieves entered through the windows from the living room, entered into my room and stole my phone.”

Ms Volavola said the thieves only stole cash and other small valuable items such as mobile phones.

“Luckily, they only stole items and did not do any other criminal activities like rape or murder.”

She said residents believed that a group of youths in the area were working together to rob homes.

“They are very organised when they rob house — like only robbing houses on a stormy night to cover any noise and targeting houses with less occupants.”

Ms Volavola said they reported the matter to police who were investigating the thefts.

“The police actually brought two dogs from the K-9 unit to our house to snoop around and was able to trace a scent to a house further down the road.

“It’s very frightening, we now plan to put iron grill shutters on the windows just for my family’s protection.”

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said from June to August this year, there were five cases recorded. According to residents, many attempted robbery cases were not reported.

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