Thimphu reports rise in burglary and larceny cases

The Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) has noted a concerning increase in crimes against property, particularly burglary and larceny cases in the capital city.

In the latest statistics provided by RBP, there have been 19 reported cases of burglary this year, with 11 cases detected leading to 17 suspects’ arrests. Additionally, 22 cases of larceny have been reported, resulting in 9 cases detected and 11 individuals being arrested.

RBP shared that instances of larceny are often attributed to carelessness, with cases such as leaving cash boxes open in establishments like bars, making an easy target for theft.

RBP mentioned that investigations into the burglary cases are currently ongoing and on 6  March, 2 individuals have been arrested. The suspects have admitted to multiple offenses.

Looking back at the past years, the data reveals a fluctuation in crime rates. In 2023, there were 111 larceny cases and 83 burglary cases, compared to 126 larceny cases and 106 burglary cases in 2022.

RBP revealed that while property-related crimes have seen a rise, incidents of violence against individuals have significantly decreased. The city, once known for gang fights and groupism activities where it was trending among youths to carry weapons, now reports minimal instances of such crimes.

However, battery cases, mostly domestic violence cases remain same. Battery cases in 2023 were 258 and in the year 2022 it was 442, which has dropped to no cases this year.

RBP is urging business stakeholders to enhance their security measures by installing CCTV cameras, although there has been some reluctance to comply.

RBP has also called upon taxi drivers and requested community at large to assist in reporting suspicious activities, emphasizing the importance of collective vigilance in combating crime.

They shared that the collective effort would help them in solving the cases sooner, since they mostly focus on the recovery side, collecting evidence takes longer process, whereby even if suspects are caught, recovering the properties are mostly not feasible.

According to the Penal Code of Bhutan, a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of burglary, if the defendant unlawfully enters or remains in a building, an occupied structure, or a separately secured or occupied portion of a building or structure used as an abode, industry, or business, with or without force, with the intent to commit a crime therein.

The offence of burglary shall be a felony of fourth degree or third degree, if in the course of committing the burglary the defendant purposely, knowingly, or recklessly inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily injury on another person, who is not a participant in the crime or is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon.

Also, a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of larceny, if the defendant takes or moves the property of another person without the owner’s consent and with the intent to deprive the owner of the property or to appropriate the same to the defendant or a third person.

The offence of larceny shall be a value-based sentencing.

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