Current Weather
The Spy FM

Tiny Pacific Island Hit By First Bank Robbery

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
August 18, 2011

Police have been flown into the tiny Pacific resort island of Aitutaki, where officials say their bank has been robbed — a first for the small, tight-knit community. Part of the Cook Islands, Aitutaki is famous for its beaches, which ring a large lagoon full of clear, ice-blue water.

Tourism is the island’s biggest industry — and that has local officials thinking that the shocking bank robbery was perpetrated by a visitor, not a resident.

“It’s the first time something like this has happened here. Police have been here talking to people and they had to close the bank for a few days,” Mary Tini, 73, told the New Zealand Herald. “People are very shocked.”

Around 2,000 people live on the island, which maintains only a small police force. The thieves made off with an estimated $200,000 in New Zealand dollars, or $166,000 US.

The bank shared a concrete building with the island’s telecommunications and customs and revenue offices.

The thieves “broke through the door, and then had to break through another door to get to the safe,” Aitutaki Mayor John Baxter told Radio New Zealand.

As for any suspects, Baxter said, “We do not believe this nature of a robbery could be done by a Aitutakian.”

He added that the island is now in “full yachtie season,” when boats that are cruising around the Pacific often visit its harbor.

“Police are checking up on these yachties that have left the island,” Baxter said.

You can hear Baxter’s interview with the network:

In addition to its natural beauty, Aitutaki is renowned for its high number of churches — said to be the most per square mile in the world. And since February 2010, the island has been recovering from its encounter with Cyclone Pat, which damaged a reported 80 percent of the island’s houses. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

6AM to 7AM On Being

On Being

On Being engages listeners across the spectrum of belief and non-belief in conversation about life's deepest questions. From autism to the ethics of torture, Krista and her guests reach beyond the headlines to probe faith and meaning, ethics and new ways of being, amidst the political, ecological, economic, cultural and technological shifts that define 21st century life.

Listen Live Now!

8AM to 10AM Weekend Edition

Weekend Edition

Weekend Edition Sunday premiered on January 18, 1987, and was the last of NPR's major newsmagazines to hit air. Since then, Weekend Edition Sunday has covered newsmakers and artists, scientists and politicans, music makers of all kinds, writers, thinkers, theologians and all manner of news events.

View the program guide!

9AM to 10PM Sound Opinions

Sound Opinions

Take two nationally respected rock critics, the latest music news, personal commentary, and exclusive interviews and performances, add a huge pile of records old and new, and the result is Sound Opinions-the world's only rock and roll talk show.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center