Colonel Abdullah Bin Ali Al Harthi, Acting Director-General of Criminal Investigations at the Royal Oman Police. Image Credit: Supplied

Muscat: A top police official has blamed drug addicts for increasing thefts in Oman.

"Some 1,342 thefts were reported in the first quarter of this year compared to 1,208 during the same period last year," Colonel Abdullah Bin Ali Al Harthi, Acting Director-General of Criminal Investigations at the Royal Oman Police, said in a press release.

"There is a strong link between cases of theft and drug addiction, with addicts looking for short cuts to get money to buy drugs," said Col Al Harthi.

He revealed that in the recent past thefts of electric cables, including live ones, as well as robberies have been reported in the country.

He partly blames the victims. "The theft victims do not take enough precaution to protect their properties," he pointed out.

He said that it has been noticed by police that when people go on long holidays, they tend to leave their homes unattended and no adequately protected against thefts.

Col Al Harthi advised the owners of houses and commercial outlets to install surveillance devices to help enhance crime prevention when the owners are away.

He also warned those who buy stolen goods, "Those who buy stolen goods are as liable to face law as the thieves."

The senior police officer also stressed the need to combat illegal immigration, "There have been cases where illegal immigrants live on thefts," he pointed out.

He cautioned residents against harbouring illegal immigrants and urged citizens, as well as expatriates to report intruders to police.