Cyprus Mail

Limassol resident films man in apparent car-theft attempt

By Andria Kades

A young man caught on camera trying to break into a car in Limassol was not chased up by police due to shortage of officers, Limassol resident Robert Michael was told on Friday.

His son’s partner happened to see the suspect trying to open the car door through the CCTV monitor as she was upstairs in their home cleaning. Michael didn’t have the chance to get to the suspect on time as he has a broken toe, and the would-be thief kept giving up but then coming back several times.

On each attempt, he saunters casually over to the car looking left and right and over his shoulder before trying the door handle, giving up and walking away, only to return again. After doing this several times, he appears to pack in the idea altogether and leaves the street.

The car was parked near the Papas supermarket in the tourist area.

“I called the emergency number 112, and was then directed to the Germasogia station,” said Michael.

The man who picked up the phone, told Michael he was a supervisor and allegedly tried to fob him off saying: “There’s lots of crime in your area,” and added that unfortunately too many of their police officers were at the court.

According to Michael, the supervisor instead reprimanded him for having CCTV cameras monitoring public areas and said it could not be used in court in any event.

Michael, who worked as a policeman in the UK said this was “absolute rubbish” and would have preferred the supervisor tried to do something to catch the suspect “rather than giving me a lecture”.

Eventually, he asked Michael to bring the footage in on Saturday after 7pm.

Michael’s son, Craig after he got home a short time later, searched the area for the suspect on his motorbike. He told the Cyprus Mail: “I daresay if the police came when he called they could have caught this guy easily.”

Deputy police spokeswoman Nicoletta Tyrimou said a complaint needs to be filed in person at the station in order for investigations to begin.

Told of Michael’s concerns that the suspect could have been caught had police sent a patrol to the scene, Tyrimou said they were genuinely short of staff with all the high security measures taken in light of the top officials visiting the island including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this week.

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