‘People of interest’ in custody

Assisting police in Friday bank hold up

Several people are in police custody and assisting in nabbing the armed robbers who raided a West Bay bank Friday.

Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Public Relations Officer Deborah Denis said Sunday morning ‘that a number of people of interest are currently in police custody helping officers with their investigations.’

Police are investigating the Friday armed robbery of Cayman National Bank at Centennial Towers. A security guard at the bank was shot when raiders attacked.

It has been reported two armed men entered the building while a third man remained outside in a getaway vehicle.

The guard was rushed to hospital after suffering the gun shot wound but his injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

Police on Saturday gave details of the incident and said that two men, dressed in dark clothes, carrying weapons and covering their faces, had approached the building

The security guard inside the building locked the doors and instructed people to move back.

‘The first man, who was carrying a small handgun, then shot two rounds through the glass door, which both hit the security man in his arm,’ Ms Denis said via an RCIPS press release Saturday

‘Both men climbed through the door, and while one watched over customers and staff, the other jumped the counter and put an undisclosed sum of money into a red bag,’ the release states.

The men left the building and made off in a white Jeep Wrangler driven by a third person.

Apart from the security guard, no other staff or customers were hurt in the incident.

Police issued a description of the two men they were looking for.

The first was armed with a small handgun and was wearing black trousers and a dark top with either grey arms or a grey undershirt with two grey stripes down the side.

His face was covered with a black mask, he wore dark footwear and he carried a red bag with straps, possibly a rucksack.

The second man was armed with a rifle type weapon and was wearing black trousers and white footwear. He had on a dark hooded top with white writing on the front and had a cloth covering his face.

A 17-year-old West Bay youth, who was in the bank at the time but who did not wish to give his name, said he had been with his teenage brother, paying in some money.

He told the Caymanian Compass there was a bang and he heard the security guard shout ‘gun, gun.’

He said he looked at the cashier dealing with his brother and saw her and other people put their heads down and he did the same.

He claimed one of the two raiders had an M16 and the other was armed with a handgun.

He said he saw the security guard, who was trying to protect people and telling them to keep down, get shot in the arm.

One of the robbers jumped over the counter and one stayed by the door, he told the Compass.

The men ran out of the bank and jumped into a white jeep, which sped off.

The whole incident only lasted a couple of minutes but had left him scared and shaken up, he said.

Police immediately cordoned off the building, set up traffic checks and began a hunt for the raiders and their vehicle.

They later located the white Jeep Wrangler thought to be involved in the incident.

The vehicle – registration number 60 049 and reported stolen earlier that morning – was found abandoned on Bolton Avenue, West Bay, say police.

Interviewed shortly after the incident, chairman of Cayman National Bank, Stuart Dack was not prepared to give details of anything that might have been taken in the raid.

He said his thoughts were with the injured guard.

Thankfully, he said, no member of staff or customer had been harmed in the incident.

‘I would applaud the professionalism of our staff and the way they handled what was a very unpleasant incident,’ he told the Compass

Police were continuing to hunt for the robbers and were urging potential witnesses and anyone with information to call the major incident room on 244-3048 or Crime Stoppers on 800 TIPS.

‘Officers are appealing for anyone who thinks they may have information in relation to the incident – no matter how insignificant it may seem – to contact them,’ said the RCIP.

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