Ferat Spanca’s apartment was broken into while he and his family were at a celebration.
“That night I hid an amount of money in my apartment. That night, around midnight, someone had broken into my apartment and found all the money. They also stole my wife’s gold jewelry, which was worth 2,000 Euros. The police came immediately when I called them. They did their job but the thief was never found. It has been years and nothing has come of it. All of my wealth, worth 38,000 Euros, disappeared in an hour,” says Spanca.
Thefts that are occuring often are concerning the citizens of nearly every municipality of Kosovo. They are not only happening to private houses but gas stations and bank branches as well.
Statistics from the Kosovo Police mention 2,985 thefts, the majority of them – 2,788, are severe and happened in the first half of 2017. Different equipment is used for theft: screwdrivers and scissors come in handy for breaking or cutting locks, breaking doors, walls or windows…
During the last nine months of 2017, in the municipality of Vushtrri, 209 thefts have been recorded.
Avni Zahiti, spokesman for the Kosovo Police in the region of Mitrovica — which includes the municipalities of Zveçan, Zubin Potok, Leposaviq and Skenderaj — says that in the municipality of Vushtrri in 2017, from January to September, 117 reports of theft were made in houses and apartments, while 89 cases were from businesses.
“The motive for theft is to gain wealth. They are not focused on something while they steal. They take everything that ensures them income,” says Zahiti.
Milaim Zhegrova, a resident of Vushtrri, says that lately this phenomenon is worrying the citizens.
“The phenomenon that is happening in Vushtrri is quite concerning. This is because the lives of families that are targeted by these criminals are endangered. Every citizen, from families to neighborhoods, education institutions, and religious institutions need to give their best in order to teach new generations not to steal. At the end, legal measures should be taken for those who steal.”
Considering the fact that thieves are usually younger individuals, a professor of sociology at the University of Prishtina, Artan Krasniqi, says that the families and their cooperation with competent institutions have an important role in decreasing this negative phenomenon.
“…youth’s perspective should also be considered, how the government organizes that perspective and what expectations they have for themselves. Stealing is an individual act more than it is an act of a specific social category. It means that even rich people steal but they steal more, they steal on paper, and poor people steal a chicken. So stealing does not depend on what social category you belong to,” says Krasniqi.
Justice institutions play an irreplaceable role in preventing this phenomenon.
According to the spokesman Zariqi, the situation in Vushtrri is considered calm and manageable since the police have access to every town.
“There are enough police patrols for the safety of Vushtrri. The number varies from day to day depending on the occurrences of the day,” he says, adding that the police increase their patrolling during celebrations and events when the chances of robbery are higher.
According to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kosovo, whoever takes the property of another with the intent to unlawfully appropriate it for himself, herself or for another person shall be punished by a fine and by imprisonment of 3 up to 12 years.