Between Thursday 16 April and Saturday 6 June, what police will allege was a one man crime wave saw 13 businesses broken into on Terralong and Manning Streets.
“As soon as we saw the spike we put in significant effort,” says Inspector Dan Richardson, who took over responsibility for policing in the Kiama area last November.
Following extensive enquiries and a public appeal for information, a man arrested in Lake Heights has been charged with 12 counts of break and enter, steal from dwelling and dispose of stolen property.
“This shows how we can effectively direct resources to where they are needed to get a result,” says Inspector Richardson.
“Generally speaking Kiama is a very safe place to live and holiday.
“We rely on the public reporting instances to us so we can investigate them.”
To stop more of these offences from occurring in the future, he’s reminding the business community to keep their premises secured and consider removing cash and valuable items overnight to deter thieves.
“We rely on the community to be our eyes and ears, so if you see anything suspicious or have any information about who might be involved in any thefts, please contact
Lake Illawarra police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
“Report any suspicious activity you see around business, especially when closed, to the police.”
The latest community crime figures remain low. Apart from the break ins mentioned above, there were 21 reports of stealing from a car, four home break-ins and two stolen vehicles.
While the perception within the community may be that the numbers are higher than this, the police can only work on what is reported.
Inspector Richardson encourages everyone to report any crime instances, however minor, as the statistics can support further measures.
The Inspector joined the Lake Illawarra Command in November last year, after two years in an executive role as a Staff Officer to one of the Assistant Commissioners.
He is enjoying his return to operational policing, where apart from having geographic responsibility for Kiama he is responsible for Human Resources.
“I see things differently now I’ve been involved in developing strategy.
“I’m always looking at how we can do things better than we’ve always done.”
He’s been impressed by the community’s response to the COVID restrictions.
“Generally speaking, people were very compliant. We were issuing warnings, rather than infringements.
“We are experiencing a health crisis like none of us have ever seen before and we’re grateful the community adapted quickly to the changing rules and regulations.”
Details: Kiama Police Station is open 6am-6pm, seven days, call 4232 1444
To report a crime taking place, call 000
To report a crime that has happened, call 131 444
To prevent a crime, call Crimestoppers 1800 333 000