Hospice centre was hit
Nearly a dozen burglaries occurred in Cayman during the run up to and in the days after Hurricane Dean.
From Saturday, 18 August to Wednesday, 22 August there were 11 burglaries reported in Cayman
Royal Cayman Islands Police officers said 11 burglaries over five days is a bit more than normal for the islands and said more break-ins could be reported as residents returned home after the storm.
‘It is disappointing to see these break-ins occur, particularly at a time when the community should be pulling together,’ Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan said.
Police said burglars may have found an easy target at some locations where residents or business were closed up ahead of the storm, but that wasn’t true in all cases.
For instance, Cayman Hospice Care was burglarised sometime during Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Facility manager Jennifer Grant-McCarthy said the hospice had been operating since late morning on Tuesday and had simply closed up for the night when the break-in occurred.
Mrs. Grant-McCarthy said about $300 and three cell phones belonging to hospice nurses were taken from the building by a suspect or suspects that apparently broke in through a window of the Conch Shell building.
‘They jimmied open the door, and went through all the cabinets,’ Mrs. Grant-McCarthy said.
A laptop computer was believed to have been taken from Blue Eyes Granite, a company that is also the Conch Shell building.
Mrs. Grant-McCarthy said the $300 was taken from the hospice’s petty cash drawer after someone tried to break into the safe and failed.
She said the cell phones were of greater concern because hospice patients and their families would use those phones to communicate with the facility’s nurses in case of emergency. No terminally ill patients actually stay at the Conch Shell building. Rather, they receive care at home or at hospitals.
Services to patients were not affected because of the cell phone thefts and the three phones were being replaced Friday.
‘We checked in with everyone, but it’s the idea that that is a life-line phone,’ Mrs. Grant-McCarthy said. ‘The cell phones are the nurse’s tools to be able to provide 24-hour care.’
She said the burglar or burglars seemed to be ‘pretty cocky’ in their attitude during the break-in, even taking time to eat a packet of peanuts, which the hospice office leaves out on the table of its waiting room.
‘Breaking into a charity, it’s just so low,’ Mrs. Grant-McCarthy said.
Mr. Kernohan said police were pursuing good leads in several of the break-ins, which occurred during the preparations for and in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean.
‘Those that think they can take advantage of a hurricane situation should think again,’ he said.
In the Cayman Islands, handling stolen goods is also an offence. Residents are asked to be on the look out for people who are selling items on the street at unusually cheap prices.
Detective Constable Paulette Hines is investigating Wednesday’s break-in at the Conch Shell building. Anyone with information about that crime is asked to contact Ms Hines at 925-8751.