NEWS

Navua CID Arrests Serial Burglar Suspect

A team of 10 Police officers worked around the clock to arrest a suspect in a spate of burglaries at Pacific Habour in Deuba. It was reported that the suspect
20 Feb 2016 12:22
Navua CID Arrests Serial Burglar Suspect
Pacific Harbour villa burglary suspect Niten Kumar outside Navua Court house yesterday. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

A team of 10 Police officers worked around the clock to arrest a suspect in a spate of burglaries at Pacific Habour in Deuba. It was reported that the suspect allegedly burgled seven villas in Pacific Harbour.

The members of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Navua Police Station had sacrificed their days off and family time to hunt for the suspect.

They finally arrested the suspect on Wednesday in Nakaulevu in Navua.

The team was led by Inspector Elia Waqanidrola, 47, who said, “We had been receiving complaints about burglary at Pacific Habour before Christmas last year.

“My team members were on the ground doing investigations and we have had no leads to arrest any suspects till now,” he said.

The burglaries happened during the last three months and the items stolen were mostly laptops, IPods, mobile phones, chargers, shoes and clothes.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Eroni Rapavola who is charge of Navua Police, said he was happy with his CID officers in Navua.

“My officers worked really hard to investigate and arrest the suspect,” he said.

ASP Rapavola said the Police and community members must work together and fight against crime in their community.

Meanwhile, Terry Markham, 70, and his wife Gerry Markham, 62, from United Kingdom, who have been residing at Pacific Habour for the last 14 months, were also victims of the burglaries.

Mr Markham said he was happy with the quick action taken by the Navua Police.

“This was the first time in Fiji where my house was broken into.

“We’ve heard stories from the residents about the burglaries happening here,” he said.

Mr Markham said they had a very good response and Police did a very excellent job.

Mr Markham said the community members should work together and help Police fight against the crime.

Another resident, who was also a victim of the burglary and did not wish to be named, said Pacific Habour residents were scared to hire people from the Navua area to work for them.

“Every villa in Pacific Harbour has been robbed,” the resident said.

“The Navua Police officers did a very good job in arresting the suspect on this case.”

Team leader Inspector Waqanidrola briefly described what his 10-men team went through to make the arrest.

He said all the burglaries happened during the daytime when the residents were not home and they had been pressured by the villa owners to make an arrest.

“Pressure was also coming from our senior officers in Suva to find the suspect,” he said.

“There was a time when we thought of giving up because we used to get calls from the residents and they talked rough to us.”

He said his team sacrificed their days off and spent most of their time trying to solve the case.

“At times the officers did not go home and we put in money to buy lunch and dinner in the office,” he said.

Inspector Waqanidrola said it even went to the extent of residents asking for Police protection because they were scared.

“With the help of Pacific Habour residents we were able to identify the suspect and I am so happy that our hard work has finally paid off,” he said.

The suspect, Niten Kumar, who is now in remand at the Navua Police Station, will appear at the Navua Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Meanwhile the only female member of the investigation team, Detective Constable Vika Nakete, 40, said: “This was the first time in my life I’ve come across such burglary case.”

The mother of six had worked tirelessly with the other nine male officers to catch the suspect.

“It was a really challenging experience for me and I sacrificed my family time to be at work.

“I have come across some cases like this before but I was in the uniform department then,” she said.

Mrs Nakete said her husband was very supportive and she thanked him for looking after their children.

The youngest Police officer in the team was Ravin Naicker, who was 34, is originally from Navua. He joined the Fiji Police Force in 2005.

“Our team worked really hard to hunt for the suspect,” he said.

Mr Naicker said he has done ground work on cases of murder and road accidents this was his first burglary case.

“This type of burglary case has happened for the first time in Navua,” he said.

 

 

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

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