Thieves stole items of police uniform clothing including shirts and trousers in a break-in at a local police station on Thursday, the Brussels prosecutor’s office has confirmed.
The break-in took place at a police station in Rue du Houblon in the Dansaert area of the Brussels-Ixelles police zone. The station is not open around the clock, but a patrol noticed the break-in at around 0400 on Friday morning, a spokesperson for the police zone said. “When they went inside, it seemed as if the whole building had been searched”.
Missing were items of police clothing, and the theft is being taken very seriously as the uniforms could be used in the commission of a more serious crime. Forensic scenes of crime officers have examined the office for evidence that might lead to the thieves.
“Why were items of uniform clothing stolen?” asked Nicola Beckers, a spokesperson for the police union. “Not to wear to carnival. This is a serious problem. Hopefully the burglars will be tracked down quickly.”
As well as shirts and trousers, the thieves took name plates and a police cap from the station’s locker room. No bullet-proof vests or firearms are missing.
According to Het Nieuwsblad, sources have revealed that the burglars found the station an easy target: the door to the garage from where access is open to the station itself was not locked, and the alarm system was out of order, the newspaper reports. That suggests the break-in might have been one of opportunity rather than planning, making it less likely the uniforms will be used later.
A break-in last occurred in the zone on New Year’s Eve, in a building attached to the main police headquarters by the Grand Place. Thieves took a helmet, handcuffs and some loose change. Following that incident, stations in the zone were circulated with a notice warning that unoccupied offices should be locked down when not in use.
The Brussels Times