Police are hunting for a group of five offenders responsible for a spate of 37 “senseless and opportunistic” burglaries across Perth between Christmas night and Wednesday morning.
The gang appears to be operating at night and in the early hours of the morning and has ransacked businesses and homes in Lathlain, Leederville, Clarkson, Victoria Park, Currambine and North Perth.
Most of the offending has targeted commercial properties, with the thieves — apparently in pursuit of cash — taking tills but leaving other goods untouched.
At least three homes have also been burgled, with three vehicles stolen and used in subsequent crimes.
The burglars gained entry to the properties by smashing their way through windows and glass doors.
CCTV captured five distinct individuals at several of the crime scenes but their identities have been concealed by clothing covering their faces.
Detective Acting Sgt Adam Fuller, from the rapid apprehension squad, said police were throwing “considerable resources” at the burglaries “to bring this matter to a swift resolution”.
“Although, thankfully, nobody has been injured or confronted by these individuals, these events cause serious harm within the community,” he said.
“The majority of the premises at the moment all appear to be commercial properties that are obviously not occupied at a time.
“It is believed that the majority of the offending is being committed sometime between 9pm and 6am in the morning.”
The thieves appeared to be selecting strips of businesses at random, then using force to gain access to a number of properties in close proximity to each other.
There is no estimate of the total value of cash that has been stolen but Sgt Fuller said many of the tills taken contained very little if any money.
Police are yet to identify the genders, ages, heights or any distinctive features of the perpetrators but Sgt Fuller said CCTV from “various locations” showed the group “working cohesively together” and that vehicles stolen from homes had also been spotted at a number of the businesses.
“It’s believed that the offenders are using a concerted effort to cover up their faces,” he said.
“That’s not using masks or anything but that’s just using clothing items to cover their ID.”
Sgt Fuller said the offending seemed “senseless and opportunistic” and that without police apprehending the quintet, it was “unknown … how long this could possibly go for”.
He said the offending had targeted homes or businesses that were empty and police were not concerned about the crime spree escalating to include confrontational and potentially violent robberies.
“The safety of the community is absolutely paramount and especially at this time of the year during the festive period,” Sgt Fuller said.
“Obviously, it’s damaging to anyone, especially those who have worked hard to have this time off during this time of year.”
Anyone with information, CCTV or dashcam footage relevant to the crime spree is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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