Massive summer robbery spike

TOProbberyspikeLEAD

Since 3 June, there have been 21
robberies or attempted robberies that have occurred on Grand Cayman, a number
that well eclipses what the Islands have seen in recent years for that type of
crime.

To put it in perspective, Royal
Cayman Islands Police statistics revealed that just 16 robberies or attempted
robberies occurred in the Islands for the first six months of 2009; and in the
first half of 2008 that number was just 11.

From 3 June to Tuesday night’s two
heists – two months and a week – police have investigated 19 robberies and two
attempted robberies at local businesses or robberies that involved local
residents on Grand Cayman.

Tuesday night’s dual robbery scenes
in George Town at the Subway restaurant and at Captain’s Bakery were the first
major armed robbery scenes RCIPS has responded to this month. 

But the months of June and July saw
a huge spike in robberies and in the vast majority of those cases, the suspects
used a handgun in commission of their crimes.

In 16 of the robbery or attempted
robbery cases that have occurred since 3 June, police have reported that
handguns or shotguns were used in commission of the crimes. That was in only
one heist – at the North Church Street Burger King on 7 June – where a store
clerk was struck with a pistol.

Shots were fired at police officers
during a chase following an 11 June robbery at Mostyn’s Esso in Bodden Town,
but no one was hit by the gunfire.

There was also an incident on 22
July during which a homeowner was pistol-whipped by burglary suspects who had
$3,000 taken from him, but police reported that incident as an aggravated
burglary rather than a robbery.

A burglary in another home that
same July night led to the death of the break-in suspect at the hands of an
armed homeowner. Again, that case is not considered a robbery attempt by
police.

One of Tuesday night’s robbery
scenes occurred in an area that has been of particular concern for law
enforcement officers for the past two years.

At about 10.25 pm Tuesday, police
said, a man armed with what appeared to be a handgun entered the Captain’s
Bakery on West Bay Road toward the southern end of Seven Mile Beach. Police
said he threatened staff and made off with a sum of cash.

No one was injured in the incident
and no shots were fired.

According to Royal Cayman Islands
Police, the suspect was described as being about 5’5”, wearing a dark cap,
black and white short sleeve shirt and dark long pants.

Between January and May of this
year, RCIPS reported four robberies occurring along West Bay Road.  

But Police Inspector Anthony White
recently said the main trouble spot in the Seven Mile Beach area has been Helen
Drive – across the street from Captain’s Bakery and the St. Matthews University
residence hall. There have been nine total criminal offences reported there,
including five robberies since 2008. 

Mr. White said it’s not a bad
neighbourhood. However, he said the number of people who are out late attending
bars and parties at clubs in Queens Court and Whitehall make it fertile ground
for criminals seeking an easy score.

Most robberies took place in the
area between 11.30pm and 2am, and all the victims involved were attacked while
walking down the street.

The Captain’s Bakery robbery was
the first recent incident where it was a business – not an individual – that
had been robbed.

Five minutes after the Captain’s
Bakery was robbed on Tuesday night, police said another man entered the Subway
restaurant in Anderson Square.

Police said this man’s face was
covered with a scarf and what appeared to be a firearm in the waistband of his
trousers. He threatened staff and made off with a small sum of cash.

Again, no shots were fired and no-one
was injured.

The second suspect is described as
being 5’7” with a dark complexion. He was wearing dark-coloured pants and a
blue shirt.

TOProbberyspikeSTORY

An RCIPS officer investigates the scene of Tuesday night’s robbery at Captain’s Bakery.
Photo: Dennie Warren, Jr.
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5 COMMENTS

  1. This is not good; a very worrying trend regarding violence and crime. Something must be done before people like ourselves decide to holiday elsewhere. One of the prime reasons we have continued to visit Cayman over that last 15+ years is the feeling of ‘safety and security’ on island, but now that is certainly not the picture we are getting. The island Police need to get tough – NOW.

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  2. I’m so dissapointed in hearing this… like most I come to GCM quite often for the great people, beautiful water, and because I have always felt safe. When I hear shots are being fired at police officers it tells me the island needs to dramatically step up the crime prevention and patrol. Police officers need to be able to defend themselves and protect the citizens… Time to act now… don’t let it turn into some of the other islands where you can’t even leave your hotel area…

    It’s time for the Government to act and increase, improve the ability, and focus on enhanceing the capabilities of the RCIPS to keep the island safe.

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  3. Is that all you got out of the article, Old Hand??
    "a dark complexion"
    Dude, there’s a mass amount of robberies going on! Obviously you are too use to crime or are not surprised like the rest of us that these events are still going on, on such a small island.

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  4. I would like to give a few suggestions / possible solutions to this problem,since it seems the police unfortunately need help to try and figure it out or at least do something instead of blurting out burglary statistics and wait to see how much higher it will rise before the end of the year and before they catch someone.The police really need to have their armed officers(the ones who drive around in the SUV’s outside the night clubs)to station themselves within the immediate vicinity of the hotspots and constantly patrol the areas including back roads incase the criminals are lurking nearby whether by foot or in their cars and preparing themselves in the immediate vicinity. Better yet, it would ideal to have officers simply visit these late night establishments for a few minutes whether they travel by foot or by cruiser and ensure that there is no suspicous activity occuring near closing hours or even stay with the staff at these restaurants and stores until they have left their premises and the buildings are secure.This would be good because most of these establishments close way before the night clubs do, therefore there is no excuse why officers can’t use this time to visit these places while the night clubs are in session ,guard them or at least do a few welfare checks to ensure they are ok and close safely before going back to the night clubs and other entertainment meeting places to ensure that the party crowds dispurse safely without problems. This should also be done of course on nights when night clubs are not in session, therefore nightly and since most establishments close early on island there are only a few they will have to visit around late closing times. This, I strongly believe will dramatically lower the risks and number of robberies occuring,if not stunting the activity altogether, further more there will be less investigations that will have to be opened,less time spent on investigations causing detectives to work overtime or spend less time with their families,less resources and cost incurred, all the while this proactiveness is excerised during the officers’ present shifts hours.

    However,if the Police Service is not willing to be proactive in this manner which would be IDEAL, then they definitely need to invest more time and money into investigations,and need to help these establishments create new operating policies when its near closing hours or when they are at risk and as silly as it may sound prepare for these types of situations better. I think it is high time that more time is invested in training these people to fight back. Yes I completely understand that not many injuries have occured due to staff simply handing over money without a fight, which is good, but obviously the criminals already know this which is why they have been going on a burglary spree and getting away with it.These people need to be trained how to assess the situation and if possible not only turn the tables more in their favor but take complete control of the situation, unarm and restrain these criminals, even opening up a huge bag of beatings if necessary while waiting on the police to come and collect the trash.Something has to be done.We need to change these circumstances so bad that all criminals will have to think way more than twice before setting foot into a place to rob it and realize its really not worth being beaten to a pulp and then put in jail over a few measly dollars. It’s way more beneficial to their health to get an honest job and be a law abiding citizen.

    Those are just a few of my suggestions. Hope it proved helpful.

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