By Fiona Hurrell, Senior Contributing Reporter RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Institute of Public Security (ISP) has reported a sixteen percent increase in the number of property burglaries from January through April in Rio state compared with the same period in 2011. The data also indicates that the affluent areas of Zona Sul (South Zone) appear to be the main target. The home of Luiz Fernando Lessa in Lagoa was targeted by three armed robbers on Thursday May 17th, image recreation. During the month of April alone, three robberies took place in the Jardim Botanico, all on the same day (April 22nd). Then during the following week, a third attack was reported on the 29th at the Leblon residence of Deputy President Luiz Fernando Pezão. The burglaries have continued, on Thursday, May 17th, an attack was carried out on a property in Lagoa belonging to State Prosecutor Luiz Fernando Lessa. Lessa, along with his wife and son, were taken hostage by the intruders who later made off in the family’s Honda CRV, taking with them jewelry, two LCD T.V’s, a laptop, three iPods and R$160 in cash. Military Police patrols have since been increased in the affected areas in response to the growing number of burglaries. On the brighter side, the report indicates that the number of homicides decreased in the city, reporting the lowest number since the initial report was carried out in 1991. The ISP also noted that police have stepped up their investigation of vehicle thefts since March 2012 to coincide with increased reports of crimes of this nature. Read more (in Portuguese). * The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.