Catholic Archdiocese falls victim to break-ins

The Catholic Archdiocese of Port Moresby is urging the public to be vigilant at all times after they recently fell victim to two separate break-ins.

The first incident occurred on September 13 (Wednesday), when an intruder came in twice into their office at Five-Mile, pretending to look for ‘The Voice’ office.

Ariel Adraincem, a property consultant/volunteer with the archdiocese, told Loop PNG: “Around 11:30am, he sat in front of me inside my office while I was having a conversation with some visitors. I noticed him so I asked him what he was doing in my office. 

“He said he was looking for the office of The Voice so I pointed it out to him. After 5 minutes or so we left with the visitors for lunch. When I came back from lunch around 4pm, I noticed that my MacBook laptop was no longer on my table, including the charger.”

Upon enquiring with his staff, Adraincem found out that the same guy had returned after their departure and told the receptionist that he was advised by The Voice to come back at 1pm. 

“Without hesitation, the receptionist gave access to him and he entered and must have quickly gotten my Mac and left.”

The matter was then reported to police.

Since Adraincem’s laptop was linked to his iPhone, he received an email from Apple Inc that his laptop was accessed and was automatically locked as per his instruction.

“I then called the security guards in my office and told them to check the surrounding to see if anyone was standing by with a laptop. They found one guy using a laptop but when he noticed the security guards approaching, he quickly ran away.

“Until now it has not been recovered.”

The second incident occurred yesterday (September 18) at dawn, when Adraincem received a report that his office and other offices were broken into.

It is believed that more than 10 men held up the two guards on duty at gunpoint. 

“They broke the main door to my office and even broke in to the Catholic Book Centre and took valuable things,” said Adraincem. 

“They went into the office of the Skills Development Trust Fund (NGO) and ransacked it.

“Also, they took all the laptops inside our property office and destroyed our electronic access monitor and took it with them, which is why we cannot retrieve any recording of the camera. 

“They also took some cash not less than K4,000 from the property office.”

The group managed to gain access towards the office of the Catholic Education Secretary and the office of the Youth Development Coordinator, where they broke all the drawers and stole all valuables.

“Just this morning, we received an email from Apple Inc in US of the whereabouts of the Mac laptop that was taken from our property office and unfortunately, the laptop was accessed and locked at 4:05pm PNG time somewhere at Gordon, Kennedy Road.”

To date, 5 laptops are yet to be recovered, including a silver Nissan X-Trail with registration number CBB102. 

“The Catholic Archdiocese of Port Moresby is devastated with what happened. We believe that the person who stole my laptop last Wednesday must be one of those many who came and broke into our building yesterday morning.

“Again, we wrote this brief incident report in order for the public to be aware that these culprits are becoming professional.

“They are involving IT experts to crack passwords for internet access, etc.”

The archdiocese is urging the public not to buy stolen items.

“We don't need to patronise evil deeds by buying stolen items. Let us be vigilant and fight together against these bad people who are trying to destroy the image of the people of PNG,” says Adraincem.

Carmella Gware