5 robberies, 1 week

Five
small businesses on Grand Cayman were targeted last week in armed robberies
where weapons were used, workers were threatened and one man was hospitalised.

The
businesses included a money transfer station, a pizza shop, a diner, a laundromat
and a convenience store. In all cases the robbers got away with cash.

Witnesses
gave different descriptions of the suspects involved in each heist. 

Arrests were reported in connection with two of the cases. All three suspects, aged 18, 19, and 21 were arrested in police operations Saturday night.  

The
incidents continued an upward trend in robberies noted last year when Royal
Cayman Islands Police statistics showed more than a 50 per cent increase in
armed robberies – most of those occurring at business establishments.

The
public frustration with these crimes was evident in the anger expressed by an
employee at one of businesses that was hit by robbers last week.

“It’s
getting out of hand,” said the man, who did not wish to be named for fear of
retaliation. “The police can only do so much.” “Soon the…hardworking people of
this Island may start ridding this land of the pond scum mingling among the
good people of our beautiful country.”

 

The
latest robbery occurred Saturday evening in Elizabethan Square – the same
complex where the RCIPS central headquarters is located.

According
to witnesses, a lone gunman walked into the Reggae Money Express store and
demanded money. Police said the suspect made off with some cash.

No
one was hurt and no shots were fired, police said. The robbery was reported at
6.35pm Saturday.

Two
men have been arrested and were in police custody late Saturday. No charges had been filed.

 

Friday
night

Royal
Cayman Islands Police were investigating two robberies Friday; one at a corner
grocery, the other at a diner.

A
man was hospitalised Friday night after being slashed with a machete in the
grocery store robbery, according to police.

Another
robbery was reported at Timbuctuu restaurant near the West Bay four-stop.

At
8.30pm Friday, police said two men armed with machetes entered the Plum Tree
grocery store, Plum Tree Road, Northward.

Officers
said the men assaulted a store staff member and grabbed the cash register. They
then ran off from the store.

The
victim suffered head and hand injuries from the attack. The injuries were not
thought to be life threatening, police said.

An 18-year-old was later arrested in connection with the robbery. 

 No one was hurt in the robbery at
Timbuctuu that happened about two hours after the grocery store was hit.

Police
said two restaurant employees were sitting on the patio at the front of the
premises on Town Hall Road when two masked men confronted them.

Officers
said the men, who appeared to be armed, forced the staff back inside the
premises and stole some cash. The suspects were last seen running off to the
rear of the restaurant.

The
suspects were both described as Caymanian, around 5’4”, light complexion,
wearing black long sleeved shirts, black pants, white T-shirts over their faces
and black gloves.

Witnesses said one suspect was of stocky build and approximately 30 years of
age. The second male was described as being slim and in his mid-20s.

 

Business
earnings

Roughly
24 hours prior to the robbery at Timbuctuu, a laundromat worker was targeted in
a robbery in George Town.

RCIPS
officers said an employee of the Quick Wash Laundry on Eastern Avenue had just
locked up around 10pm Thursday when she was confronted two armed men who came
from behind the Trade Centre and grabbed her bag. 

The
bag contained business takings from the laundromat.

No
shots were fired and no one was hurt.

Police
described the first robbery suspect as being around 5’4”, wearing a camouflage
jacket and black hooded top. His face was covered with what appeared to be a
bandana.

The
second suspect was described as 5’11” wearing dark clothing and a hooded top.

“Although
the victim was not injured she has been left shaken by the ordeal,” RCIPS
Superintendent Marlon Bodden said.

“This
incident further highlights the need for business owners and staff to take all
possible security steps to ensure the safety of those carrying cash. Our advice
is that the methods and times of carrying cash should be varied as much as
possible – and that more than one person should be present when cash is being
transported.

“The
best case scenario would be to employ recognised security or cash transit
companies to carry cash, but we recognise that for small businesses that may
not always be possible.”

 

On
Monday night, a popular pizza shop on West Bay Road was held up – again with
customers and workers inside.

Police
said at about 10pm Monday, two masked men armed with handguns entered Gino’s
Pizza. Investigating officers said men threatened staff and a number of
customers before making off with cash from the register

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

The
suspects, who had their faces covered during the heist, were described as being
around 6’ in height, wearing baseball caps, dark coloured tops and jeans.

Police
have so far not reported any links between the robberies last week.

 

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Unacceptable. Armed undercover security guards need to be dispatched immediately to put an end to this. Pull a gun, bang you are dead. That will send a very strong message and correct this ever expanding problem.

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  2. I agree that the rate of robberies in Cayman is worrying and it is welcome news that arrests have been made.

    However, as hard as it is for some people to swallow, ask yourselves the question: why do so many young males feel so disenfranchised that they resort to crimes such as these.

    The Caymanian people need to take a close look at themselves in exactly the same way as any society or community that is suffering serious crime must do if they are to find the answer to their ills.

    I suspect the honest answer is going to be unpalatable.

    Sadly, to paraphrase Shakespeare, There is something rotten in the State of the cayman Islands.

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  3. Quote…. ‘Unacceptable. Armed undercover security guards need to be dispatched immediately to put an end to this. Pull a gun, bang you are dead. That will send a very strong message and correct this ever expanding problem.’

    Thats almost word for word what I posted here about year ago. But dozens of brilliant Caymanians responded to my statement, calling it crazy and a huge mistake to arm police or security guards.

    So, here you are. Crime everywhere. Shootings every few weeks. Better get used to it, and might as well learn to deal with it.

    The robberies will increase. The murders will continue. The crime will escalate. These stories will just be absorbed into what Grand Cayman is known for in the future. Beaches PLUS bullets. And maybe itll be your spouse, child or parent who gets robbed or shot in the head next time.

    Thats right Grand Cayman. Just sit back, complain, whine, remember the good ole days, and stick to your policies from 1972.

    And when things get REALLY bad? Maybe you can just pray the crime away.

    Im sure thatll work.

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  4. I thought Id share this for everyone to see how the Cayman Islands are being looked at by the rest of the world, this is a posting and a comment I found on a Travel website by someone looking to visit grand Cayman. Seem that you can sink as many ships and build as many ports as you want but its the Crime rate that will sink Cayman itself. And shamefully as shown in the article below we are now grouped together with Jamaica.

    What more can I say.

    With the recent wave of crime in Grand Cayman, is it still safe for tourists? Theres been a lot of news about recent gang violence in West Bay and Georgetown. While were planning on staying on the North Side of the island, were a bit concerned since we have 2 young children with us and most of the attractions are in West Bay or Georgetown.

    Additional Details

    Were looking to fly non-stop out of Tampa Airport. So there are only 2 locations in Caribbean you can get to from TPA, one is Puerto Rico, the other is the Cayman Islands. Been to Puerto Rico many times, thus the reason were looking into Cayman Islands. So the question still stands.

    Best Answer – Chosen by Voters

    Personally, I would avoid any island with high crime. Why go there when there are dozens of Caribbean islands? Jamaica, Sint Maarten/St Martin, now Cayman where to cops dont even carry guns. Avoid them until they clean up their crime problem. My two cents

    Potentially Dangerous Caribbean Islands

    Haiti: The poorest and most unstable country in the region. The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel warning for Haiti because of frequent violent kidnappings of Americans for ransom.

    Cayman Islands and Jamaica: Criminal acts are a major problem and can rapidly turn violent. According to the Department of State, Visitors should exercise common sense, not walk around at night, and use only licensed taxis or hotel-recommended transportation. Valuables should not be left unattended anywhere, including hotel rooms and the beach, and care should be taken when carrying high value items such as cameras, wearing expensive jewelry, or displaying large amounts of cash on the street.

    Trinidad and Tobago: Murder and other violent crimes are increasing (though Tobago is typically much safer than Trinidad). The Department of State suggests that travelers may not want to travel alone.

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  5. What these Criminals do not realize is that people would be willing to help, provide food for there families etc but not when they continue to treat the community with such utter dis-respect.

    There are so many knock on effects with this type of Crime:

    1. Ex-pats, many who came here to get away from such sort of gun crimes, burglaries etc will leave the island because they end up feeling less safe than they did in there home towns.

    2. The economy gets worse as Tourist visits will decline and those who dare to come will stay in the resorts which means they will not be spending money in the local restaurants or shops. Cayman will become like other Caribbean destinations where tourists cannot leave the resorts and potentially the resorts could be hit by room raiders.

    3. The Authorities start to arm themselves which forces the criminals to arm themselves (even the ones that normally do not!) and then you end up with shoot outs between them and the police.

    It is good to see that the people have manage to catch some of these bandits and lets hope that the courts come down hard on them.

    I was disgusted to see that people were stealing from farmers, this is the lowest of the low. I bet many of these people still buy cigarettes, alcohol and still have cell phones.

    Lets hope things change here soon before innocent people start to get killed. The first time a tourist gets shot, just watch how quickly the numbers decline!!

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  6. It is abundantly clear that public frustration has grown to serious proportions with the ongoing armed robberies in Cayman, practically on a daily basis. One wonders whether the RCIPS will ever be in control of this grossly unacceptable situation. Or, can they?

    Many are wondering how a small island such as Grand Cayman cannot implement measures to effectively reduce these crimes. It is very obvious that whatever the RCIPS has been doing, or not doing, to bring crime under control is definitely not working. So, where we go from here?

    Maybe, the RCIPS needs to police itself by seriously reviewing its resources, methods, policies, programmes, tactics, and, if necessary, consult with proven methods utilized by other law enforcement jurisdictions for assistance.

    The more crime increases, the more difficult it becomes to control and maintain that control so businesses and the public at large can exist without fear of being a victim.

    GEOFF DANIELS

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  7. A contributing factor to the evolving Crime epidemic: has anyone noticed recently that Gasolene has crossed 5.00 a gallon? The money hungry entrepreneurs of this island are exploiting their fellowmen causing increase unemployment and driving crime levels higher.
    Gasolene has not gone higher than where it had reached when their was recent spike in 2008. Yet in 2008, the price per gallon in Cayman did not exceed 4. This is very unfair what is happening now and it seems their is no control.This is exploitation.

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  8. In many parts of the world business owners and homeowners can legally own and conceal guns. Between guard dogs and guns you have the best deterrent against crime. Sad but true we need to think this way.

    But what I like best, is those parts of the world that deal with crime outside the useless judicial system, i.e. if you come into our neighborhood or district and do a heinous crime, you will be dealt with severely by the locals, expats or otherwise. And you will never find the body.

    These criminals are at the bottom of the gene pool and need to be dealt with in that way.

    Call it uncivilized? I call it spot on. The message will permeate the underworld rapidly. And our precious tourism will prevail.

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  9. I moved here with my family almost 30 years ago. Among the big attractions were the warm and friendly people and the non-existent crime.

    If you look at the violent crimes committed on a per head basis, we are not far off Jamaica and worse than New York.

    Would I make the same choice now? Sorry, but no. We would have to look elsewhere.

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  10. Well it look like Cayman Blogger almost predicted this one. Seems Tourist are now the Targets as well. Im sure well hear more on this story as it progresses.

    A tourist was assaulted just before midnight on Wednesday, 19 January on Seven Mile Beach, adjacent to Calico Jacks.

    The 21-year-old male, who was visiting form the US, was taken to Cayman Islands Hospital where he is being treated for his injuries

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  11. Guess what folks? If only the bad guys have guns (and not even the police) what do the bad guys have to fear?

    Youd better rethink your un-armed police/citizenry policy really quickly or you will be facing, Hello Jamaica!

    I surely wont be going there anytime in the future.

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  12. Yes the crime and robberies are a big worry and the way it escalates is very disturbing. However, what is even more concerning is the lack of interest from the government. The Island is going to waste and no one seems to care. You would expect different headlines in the compass by now, things like : ‘Cayman Islands lock down on crime’ or ‘ Government to increase measures to combat crime’… I am reading the compass every day, hoping to see some countermeasures, but I think I’m wasting my time.
    They are to busy lining their pockets worrying about the next scheme to make even more money and keep the big money pushers of the Island happy! Don’t they realize that it all is rapidly going to waste and that soon there will be nothing left to make money on?
    The lack of action is almost surreal.

    Is there anyone that cares????

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