Lousy criminals

Editor’s note: Crime is always a serious issue in the community and the Caymanian Compass will always treat it as such. We merely found a number of instances this year where attempted criminal exploits had a lighter side to them.

The Cayman Islands has seen its fair share of serious crime this year, including three killings – one of which remains unsolved at this date; along with robberies, burglaries, rapes, assaults and many other crimes.

Sometimes covering the crime beat can be a grim job, even in a place where the crime rate is much lower than it is in most of the world.

But other times you come across things that just make you laugh out loud.

These are the bad criminals. Not the stereotypical ‘bad guys’ you might think of, but people who simply were not able to commit the crimes they attempted. There were a number of these cases this year, and we felt some note of them should be made.

23 February: A 76-year-old man walking to a store in Prospect late on this Friday evening is attacked by three young men who strike him in the head twice and demand money. Undeterred, the septuagenarian pulls out a flashlight and beats back his three attackers who run away without taking anything from their intended victim. One of the suspects, a 17-year-old boy, was arrested soon after the incident. Police said the elderly man suffered a few bumps but was otherwise fine.

6 March: Police get a call from a woman on Northwest Point Road in West Bay who said a man had broken into her home. The woman told officers she confronted the 44-year-old suspect, who then started waving a knife in front of her. During a struggle the suspect was apparently unable to overcome the unarmed female resident and fled, swimming into the sea. He didn’t get very far, and was arrested sitting in a boat which was anchored not far from the home where the break-in occurred. The victim suffered some minor injuries but did recover.

9 June: At a quarter to two on this Saturday afternoon, police said five boys, aged 12-17, walked into the Domino’s Pizza store in West Bay. One of them carried a piece of pipe and demanded money from the cashier. They didn’t get the cash, so police said the boys then went to the manager’s office and demanded money again. The manager refused. They then asked for a pizza, which they apparently didn’t get either. Finally, officers said the boys just took some sodas and left the store. Investigators later said the boys did assist officers in their investigation after they were arrested.

6 July: Thomas Vincent Watson, his brother Anthony Wayne Watson, and Thomas’ fiancée Cindy Jo Hair received major prison sentences after their Grand Court trial for possession of 4.5 kilograms of cocaine with intent to supply. How did they get caught? They took pictures of themselves, holding bags of drugs, and displaying huge sums of cash. In one photo, a sticker reading ‘I’d rather go to hell than to work’ was prominently displayed on a table that held several ganja plants.

20 September: For the second day in a row, the George Town police station was cleared out by a bomb threat. The identity of the culprit in the first bomb scare on 19 September has never been revealed. But police said they caught the second hoaxer, a Mr. Delvin Tibbetts from Cayman Brac. Mr. Tibbetts told the court that he had been up all night drinking before hearing the report of the first bomb hoax on the radio. Shortly after hearing the report Mr. Tibbetts said he phoned in a bomb threat to 911. Police tracked him down at his house by using the phone number that appeared on screen at the 911 centre. Mr. Tibbetts apologised to the court and promised to go to church when he got home. He was released for time served after spending two months at Northward Prison.

23 November: A carjacking might have occurred this Friday evening in the parking lot of Sunset House, only the suspects in this case forgot the car. Police said a 37-year-old man was robbed as he got out of his vehicle by suspects who took his cash, car keys and cell phone. However, instead of taking the man’s car police said the suspects got into the one they already had and sped off. One man, a 30-year-old from Prospect, was arrested after a brief police chase in West Bay the same night. Asked why the suspect took the victim’s car keys and left his car, police spokesperson Deborah Denis replied she didn’t know.

27 November: Conch are considered a Caymanian delicacy and everyone is allowed to take a five conch maximum per person (or ten per boat) each day from island waters during the proper season. The problem on this Tuesday was that two men stopped in a white van by police officers had 64 conch in their vehicle. Department of Environment enforcement officers said the men admitted they were taking an extra share of conch for a party they were having. The vehicle they were in was a company van.