In the idyllic expatriate enclave of Pinar de Campoverde, a surge in home burglaries has rattled residents, prompting vigilante patrols due to delayed police responses. It looks like crime-free times of Corona virus crisis are far behind us.
In the picturesque expatriate haven of Pinar de Campoverde, situated in the hilly expanse of Pilar de la Horadada in Alicante Province, a disturbing increase in home burglaries has prompted a surge in vigilante patrols.
The tranquility of this sought-after expat hotspot has been marred by an unsettling spike in criminal activity, as residents grapple with the disconcerting reality that the local police force is struggling to respond promptly.
Approximately 300 concerned individuals gathered for an open-air meeting, urgently calling for an increase in police patrols to combat the escalating wave of burglaries that has engulfed the town. Pinar de Campoverde, boasting a population of around 3,000 registered inhabitants, has become a focal point for residents seeking refuge from the increasing insecurity plaguing the area.
The surge in break-ins has created an atmosphere of apprehension, with homeowners like Sara Henarejos Carillo expressing their frustration. In a statement to a British media outlet, Carillo revealed, “There’ve been 30 robberies in the last few months, with up to four occurring in a single night.”
The criminals, donned in balaclavas and dark clothing, strategically strike during the early evening, believing homes to be vacant.
In an attempt to address the worsening situation, Carillo has launched a petition demanding heightened police presence and proactive patrols to both apprehend perpetrators and act as a deterrent against potential burglaries. The plea underscores the residents’ discontent with law enforcement’s perceived inability to respond effectively.
The simmering discontent among property owners has manifested in the form of the “Theft Alert Group,” an initiative by the residents association, Pinar de Campoverde Vecinos, boasting a formidable membership of 500 individuals.
Operating through social media, this group of vigilant residents receives real-time notifications of potential intruders or ongoing home burglaries, prompting them to mobilize before contacting local law enforcement.
Recent incidents have escalated tensions further, with reports of residents brandishing baseball bats and golf clubs to thwart attempted burglaries triggered by security alarms. While this displays a community’s resilience, local councillor Marina Saez urges caution, advocating for a calm and measured response.
Saez emphasizes the need for residents to allow law enforcement agencies to carry out their duties, discouraging vigilante patrols.
Addressing the growing concern, Saez stated, “We are following several lines of inquiries that will hopefully bear fruit as soon as possible.” The Mayor, Jose Maria Perez, along with Policia Local, Guardia Civil, and concerned residents, will convene to discuss the escalating situation, following an invitation from the Pilar council.
After experiencing a relative calm during the COVID-19 crisis, when home burglaries reached historic lows, the recent surge presents a stark challenge for authorities. The increase in incidents is not confined to Alicante province but extends to Valencia province as well, with home burglaries emerging as the predominant crime in current statistics.
This poses a considerable challenge, especially since a significant number of home burglaries occur in tourist areas, typically bustling only during the summer months.
While law enforcement efforts are commendable, the sheer magnitude of the issue creates opportunities for private security companies and alarm installers. With the demand for enhanced security measures on the rise, these businesses are poised to flourish in addressing the escalating concerns of residents in Pinar de Campoverde and beyond.
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