SAPOL halts business break-ins with public tip-off, as crime rates continue to reduce in SA

A burglar believed to be responsible for a month-long crime spree targeting South Australian businesses has been arrested as the investigation continues to gain momentum.

SAPOL officers across multiple districts connected the dots and used helpful information from the public to uncover the suspect’s identity – a 22-year-old man of no fixed address.

The alleged thief was wanted over a spate of Serious Criminal Trespass offences against businesses that occurred between 7 February and 15 March.

The man was arrested on 16 March and charged with 13 counts of non-residential Serious Criminal Trespass offences and 10 counts of theft. He was refused bail and the investigation remains ongoing.

Police Minister Vincent Tarzia said SAPOL’s collaborative approach ¬to fighting and preventing crime safeguards South Australians and is an effective formula highlighted by new data released today.

“SAPOL consistently sends a clear message to the community that anti-social and cruel behaviour against business owners will not be tolerated,” Minister Tarzia said.

“Our dedicated police work with the community where possible to ensure offenders are identified and arrested.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to giving SAPOL the tools and resources it needs to continue this important work and has provided an additional $170 million in funding since 2018.

“This financial year alone we’ve funded the recruitment of 72 new police cadets, 54 Protective Security Officers, and invested millions in new Multi-Purpose Load Bearing Vests (MPLBV) to keep our frontline officers safe.

“We’re also the first South Australian Government to directly fund Crime Stoppers SA.”

SAPOL’s March crime statistics showcase improved safety and security for South Australians with further declines in offences across the state.

The overall long-term crime trend is 24,877 offences lower than it was 10 years ago – equal to a 20.4% drop in crime.

Serious Criminal Trespass against businesses is down 25% (1,235 crimes), Offences Against Person/Property decreased by 22% (27,441 incidents), while Theft and Related Offences decreased by 19,011 crimes (a 32% drop) when compared to the previous rolling year.

“While COVID-19 has contributed to some decreases, we must not ignore SAPOL’s fantastic work to keep the community safe. This Government will continue its support to see further reduction in crime,” Minister Tarzia said.

Decreases were also seen in Robbery and Related Offences, Fraud, Deception and Related Offences, and Property Damage and Environmental crimes.

A slight 2% rise in Total Offences Against the Person is a result of legislative and system changes to the recording of particular offences within the category. It does not reflect an actual increase in offending.

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