GPD: Thieves adjusting methods to adapt to stay at home order

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With many island residents financially struggling through the course of the public health emergency, many are just making ends meet while others are stealing.

More and more island residents are turning to social media, sharing instances of unwanted visitors entering properties, scoping out the area, and stealing from homes and vehicles.

From electronics to outdoor equipment, vehicles, and even gas, GPD Spokesman Sgt Paul Tapao says there are steady reports in social media of theft-related crime.

“We are seeing more of the community involvement, which is an asset, of course. It’s beneficial because there’s more situational awareness,” Tapao said.

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He says GPD has received a lot of video footage of individuals engaging in criminal activity, which have also been shared on social media platforms. Tapao says that speaks volumes of the community wanting a safer Guam.

Tapao added that they have made apprehensions in the majority of the theft-related cases reported to the department.

There is a trend in how criminals are operating, Tapao says opportunistic perpetrators are adapting to the stay-at-home order of the governor.

“The videos that I have seen so far are usually committed during the early morning hours when people are sleeping,” Tapao said.

Crimes once reported when a homeowner returned home are now being reported to have been committed while families sleep. These videos were also recorded through surveillance cameras and shared on social media, some with warnings to be on the “lookout.”

Tapao says this shows the community is being vigilant, residents are looking out for each other and more homeowners are equipping their homes with surveillance systems.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.