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Cyprus

Man charged with spate of break-ins

Three of the charges relate to incidents earlier this month and the other is a historical case from last year

A Greek Cypriot man from Trachoni will appear in the Sovereign Base Area Court in Episkopi on November 25 after being charged with four counts of breaking into buildings.

Three of the charges relate to incidents earlier this month and the other is a historical case from last year relating to a break-in at a nursery school in the village.

The arrest of the man came after a series of house break-ins on October 2, 4 and 7 in the morning when children were at school and the house owners were at work.

Police officers investigating the crime spree identified the similarities in the cases and subsequently began examining CCTV in the area to see if they could identify the person responsible.

During the investigation, officers noticed the suspected culprit had some “distinguishing features” and they quickly linked him back to the incident last year.

Acting on that lead, police officers secured a search warrant for the man’s house and after discovering clothes similar to those worn in the camera footage, they were also able to link him with the crime scenes and make the arrest on October 14.

Chief Inspector Panicos Panayi, from the Akrotiri Division of the SBA Police, said whilst the case still needs to be heard in court in November, the investigation leading up to the arrest was hugely successful for his officers.

He explained: “This arrest was the result of really good police work. Our investigating officers working on the case were able to identify a suspect as a result of the distinguishing features.

“Their knowledge of previous arrests meant they could link him back to another investigation from last year and this made all the difference.
“Of course, there has been no conviction yet, but I am very happy with the investigation which led to the arrest of this man.”

One of the key aspects of the case is what the police call the ‘modus operandi’, which linked the break-ins together.

The chief inspector continued: “When the MO is similar, like it was in this case, it makes it more likely that we are looking for an individual because they are clearly following a similar pattern. This person was breaking into houses and stealing anything that could be sold, like jewellery and we are very happy with how the arrest took place.”

The man will now face those charges in November and according to Chief Inspector Panayi, this sends out a strong warning to would-be criminals.

“We are here to serve our community and ensure that they are able to live safely and peacefully and if you are caught undertaking a criminal activity, you will face prosecution.”

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