A GROUP of “marauding youths” is believed to be responsible for a huge spike in burglaries, sparking a new crackdown by police.
Senior Sergeant Trevor Troy said burglaries had more than doubled in the eight months to August, with groups targeting Mandurah, Dudley Park, Meadow Springs, Greenfields and Halls Head.
He said many of the burglaries had been committed by youths, aged 12 to early-20s, travelling in groups at night. He said it was possible there was a ringleader of multiple groups.
A couple in their 90s were confronted by burglars in their Leslie Street home last week. One of the burglars demanded cash and jewellery from the elderly woman. Her partner was pushed, but not injured.
Sgt Troy said the Mandurah Marina area had been hard hit, with hundreds of offences in the past month.
There had been about 30 burglaries in Dudley Park in the past two weeks and dozens in Meadow Springs. Commercial premises in Greenfields were targeted as well as retirement units in Erskine.
Police have started Operation Webring in response to the burglary spike.
Anyone caught with torches, gloves or socks would be charged for carrying burglary instruments.
There have been nine vehicles and 18 extra staff rostered on from 6pm to 4am over the past week.
Sen Sgt Troy said since police had increased patrols at night and there had been a significant drop in offences.
Detectives raided a house on Anstruther Road last Thursday and returned a ring, worth thousands of dollars to its owner in Meadow Springs.
Burglary offences were down on the weekend, but there was a spike in stealing from cars in Madora Bay. Nine people were charged after vehicle stops.
“We will continue to pepper the CBD,” Sgt Troy said. “We are still on alert.”
Residents are urged to report suspicious behaviour at night, particularly people wearing hoodies, gloves and carrying bags.
“We will flood the area,” Sgt Troy said.
— If you are a victim of a home burglary, contact the police on 131 444.