Although a string of shocking
gang-related killings dominated the headlines early in 2010, concerns about the
shootings were eventually overtaken by a huge spike in robbery cases over the
Grand Cayman also saw a large
increase in armed robberies over the course of the year. According to RCIPS
stats through September, robbery reports increased about 86 per cent when
compared with the first nine months of 2009. According to RCIPS crime stats
there were 54 robberies reported through the first nine months of 2010,
compared to just 29 in 2009. Attempted robberies also went up.
Thefts also went up nearly 60 per
cent over the first nine months of 2010.
Deputy Police Commissioner Stephen
Brougham said there was some positive news about serious crime, but robberies remained
a major concern.
“The fall in serious crime in
layman’s terms equates to 22 fewer victims of serious crime in the Cayman
Islands; that’s got to be good news for our communities,” said Deputy Police
Commissioner Stephen Brougham. “However, we are still concerned about the rise
in robbery incidents and the huge increase in volume crimes such as theft and
In addition to the sheer number of
heists, there were several occurrences of crime that were unusual for Cayman.
Three banks were robbed in 2010;
the Cayman National Branch at Countryside Shopping Centre in Savannah, the
Fidelity Bank in downtown George Town, and the Butterfield bank branch at the
Compass Centre. Prior to 2010, one other bank had been robbed in Cayman during
the past decade – the West Bay Cayman National branch. Before that, the last
bank robbery here happened in the 1990s.
Also, two major hotels in the
country’s main tourism centre were the site of robberies or robbery attempts. A
suspect was foiled as he attempted to hold employees in the Grand Cayman Beach
Suites office back in October, and masked robbers did take some cash from a
safe at the Ramada Grand Caymanian Resort in early November.
“It’s troubling of course; it’s an
event that hits in the heart of Seven Mile Beach,” said Beach Suites manager
Bill Powers of the October incident, adding that a shot was fired during the robbery.
Luckily, no one was hurt in either hotel heist.
A large chunk of the robberies
occurred in 2010 between June and mid-August of 2010; the large majority
affected business establishments. There were 21 robberies or attempted
robberies that occurred on Grand Cayman between 3 June and 12 August, a number
that well eclipses what the Islands have seen in recent years for that type of
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 through 10 August, –
two months and a week – police investigated 19 robberies and two attempted
robberies at local businesses or robberies that involved local residents on
The 10 August dual robbery scenes
in George Town at the Subway restaurant and at Captain’s Bakery were the first
major armed robbery scenes RCIPS had responded to in August.
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 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.