Number of break-ins heighten a month after Yutu

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The Saipan community has been seeing an increasing number of break-ins, a month after Super Typhoon Yutu. With much of the CNMI still in complete darkness, this has given thieves the opportunity to break into homes, establishments, and damaged offices.

Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero confirmed that there have been burglaries and break-ins reported and DPS officers have made arrests. Guerrero said more information will follow.

The Guma Sakman, home to the 500 Sails non-profit organization and the Dolphin Club, is a victim to an attempted burglary last weekend.

According to April Repeki, a Dolphin Club swimming instructor, she noticed signs of an attempted burglary last Saturday when she went to the Guma Sakman to get the kickboards stored there.

Repeki said that the first sign was an open door and, after taking a photo of the scene, she noticed signs that the doors had been forced open.

“The back door was open and I was thinking that maybe it was just the security guard because he has a key to the back door…but when I took a picture of it, that’s when I noticed that the door lock was picked and it was actually broken and the knob was almost completely gone, so I knew that it wasn’t the security guard and it was actually a break-in but there was nothing missing….I then noticed the door that connects the restroom to the office seemed to [have been] forced…in but they couldn’t make it into the main office,” she said.

Repeki said she did not call the police to report the incident since there was nothing taken and it seemed too late to report the incident.

Emma Perez, 500 Sails president, said that, although nothing was taken from the Guma Sakman, she is asking the community to help them watch over the building as its meant to serve the community.

“Please help us keep an eye on it. It’s a non-profit and there is nothing of value at the Guma Sakman except for [the traditional canoe] Neni. We have relocated all our stuff…it’s just a place for the community and the kids to learn how to swim and for people to learn how to sail,” she said.

Perez said it’s just saddening that there are people out there breaking into the Guma Sakman when its staff can’t physically be there as they are offering swimming lessons to children in shelters.

“We’re not there because we’re teaching shelter kids how to swim and there are people trying to break in,” she said.

Aside from the Guma Sakman, there have been unofficial reports all over social media warning the CNMI community to be vigilant as there are individuals breaking into homes and attempting to steal items such as generators.

There have also been unofficial reports that there are individuals breaking into damaged homes and taking photos so they could claim losses with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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