Shots fired in Meringue Town hold-up

Shots were fired during the course of an incident that was first reported as a robbery at a money transfer business in George Town Thursday night. 

Royal Cayman Islands Police said the reported robbery occurred at the MoneyGram store in Meringue Town Plaza.

Police said no one was hit by the gunfire, and that it was not immediately clear if any money was taken from the store. 

Officers said the incident was called in around 7.30pm at the location on Boilers Road. Police said three masked men entered the building carrying firearms. 

The men were allegedly in the midst of threatening staff and customers when someone apparently locked them inside the business by closing the hurricane shutters outside the premises.  

Police said the armed men, realising they were locked in, shot through the glass door and kicked open the storm shutters. All three suspects then ran from the scene.

Officers set up roadblocks in the area, but no arrests had been reported by midnight. 

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call George Town police station Criminal Investigation Department at 949-4222 or Cayman Crime Stoppers at 800-8477.

17 COMMENTS

  1. It is UNBELIEVABLE how many of these sorts of incidents I am seeing in the local news….

    Every action has a consequence and Cayman is soon going to see the consequences of its actions when tourists stop coming and ex-pats start leaving…. Maybe you can all change the name from Cayman to Cay-Jam…..??

  2. PEOPLE ARE LOSING CONFIDENCE IN THE POLICE AND TAKING MATTERS IN THEIR OWN HANDS! This is so sad… it could be that we need a local Commissioner of Police who talks less and has street knowledge. What ever happened to Rudolph Dixon after he won the case of alleged corruption? Why havent they reinstated him? We had good days with less robberies during the time he was running the service!

  3. It seems like EVERY DAY there is a story about a robbery. If not every day, 3-4 times per week is a very realistic estimate. That is shameful. The worst part is that no arrests are ever made, no one is ever caught.

    Two things need to happen in Cayman, and they need to happen immediately. First, the RCIPS and the government need to get out IN FRONT of the problem. Start implementing procedures to show a greater police presence, start fingerprinting Caymanians (and not just expats), bring in crime specialists from the UK or US to train up the RCIPS. DO SOMETHING to show that you understand this is a serious problem, and that youre going to fight it, and not just react to it.

    The second thing that needs to happen is that the Cayman public needs to take a stand and start reporting their friends and family. While I dont think the police or the government are doing enough, it is clear that they do not bear all the responsibility. The people of Cayman have to decide that rampant crime is not what they want for their island, and they need to turn against the criminals, even if they are friends or family. There is a Cayman Crimestoppers hotline that offers rewards and confidentiality People need to step up and do the right thing. No matter what the RCIPS does (and I firmly believe they need to do more), if the people dont decide that enough is enough, nothing will change.

  4. The medias and the police keep saying that crime on island is not that bad. Where in the world do you see a town of 45,000 people with so many guns related incidents?

  5. So- your unarmed police set up roadblocks. What would they do if they caught the armed robbers? Stone them?
    Things sure have gone to h-ll in Cayman, and I dont mean the popular city of the same name.
    We used to visit twice per year, but no more; until you get things under strict control.

  6. I know i dont have much say in this economies crisis because im a jamaican but im a concerned jamaican. I was coming here from a baby and im now 23 yrs old and i must say that i dont know where tings went wrong but back in those days people wasnt even thinking much less doing any of the crimes that we hear about today. Im talking in 1999-2004 but now when its not drug addict people are scared of its gunmen,thiefs and criminals. All im saying is Why cant things go back to the way they where?

  7. The police do have GUNS dont think they dont …and i am sure they had them at the road block BIG Assualt Guns… It scared me first time i saw the guns …..Remember a cop with a sidearm shows up after the crime not before ….I personally dont want the local police to think with the gun ..In the states we fear that GUN… thus we stay away from the police

  8. Well if the RCIPS Officers come up on Armed Robbers they can always shine thier flashlights in the eyes of the crooks and hold them at bay till the Armed units get there…

    Really, why do you think they always show up after the crime, its becuase they are afraid for thier own safety. Would you want to go looking for a Gunman Armed only with a Baton..

  9. That was a stupid, dumb, dangerous thing to do; locking these armed gunmen into a business they are robbing by closing the storm shutters.

    Do business owners, especially in George Town, not realise that the non-response of the RCIPS to armed robberies in progress with armed police units is a deliberate policy by the CI Government and the RCIPS leadership ?

    The RCIPS has more high-powered weaponry in its arsenal than any street criminals could ever imagine.

    The CI Government is playing russian roulette with the lives of both its citizens and visitors.

    The better of two bad alternatives for them, as they see it, is to allow the robbberies with as least violence and loss of life as possible and hope that the RCIPS investigation and detection teams can trace and arrest the robbers after the fact.

    The last thing that the CI Government and tourism professionals want to be getting out to the world is news of police and gunmen shoot-outs with loss of lives on either side.

    This policy might be stemming the loss of lives for now but it is certainly doing nothing to stem the robberies or violence used in the process.

    Business owners, especially those involved in high volume cash transactions should take the initiative for their own protection and at least get professional training for their staff in what to do and not do in the case of an armed robbery.

    And please, access this training from experienced, verified professional companies from abroad; for heavens sake.

    With the record of response for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service to armed robberies, locking the robbers inside the building would rank very highly on my list of WHAT NOT TO DO IN AN ARMED ROBBERY.

  10. Firery, I have heard plenty of excuses and reason why the RCIPS show up after that fact, but yours makes absolute sense. I would like to see just once what would happen if an Armed RCIPS Unit got fired upon, what their response would actually be. They would probably lose their jobs if they fired back, being told that they could have hurt one of the robbers.

    A good example of this is Newark NJ which was the Car Theft Capitol of the US for many years, due to a policy that local law enforcement could not pursue someone driving a stolen car because it may cause an accident. Hence why they were the Car Theft Capitol, Car thieves new they just had to drive a little reckless and the cops would let them go. A few years back they introduced Armored Ramming vehicles to put a stop to this, after a few broken bones for Car Thieves and dishing out lengthy sentences such as 20 years for stealing a car, Car Theft if almost unheard of in the same city.

  11. Government! What is your basic problem? Will you let your residents protect themselves and permit them to use mace or pepper spray. For most of these morons who are trying to destroy their own island a Louisville Slugger (baseball bat ) in the hands of a merchant would be quite good. But short of that, mace or pepper sray would work just fine. A buzzer to the police station may be good also. Let your business people have a chance and create a deterrent to this mindless crime.

  12. Carib58 that was a sane comment.

    However heres something everyone is scared to address and acknowledge. Yes we have a population of 45,000 to maybe 50,000 and yes we are OUT GUNNED!
    What everyone including the entire population, black and white, rich and poor is that for this huge amount of guns to be distributed throughout this little nation into the hands of thugs, its time for all of us to speak our minds regardless of who gets upset.

    The answer is clear:
    SOME BIG SHOT WITH A LOT OF INFLUENCE OR HIGH PLACES, IS IMPORTING THESE GUNS AND THEY SEEM TO BE UNTOUCHABLE! If it were just the thugs importing the guns for the thugs someone would have screamed long ago and started singing.

    THIS PROBLEM GETS WORSE BY THE MINUTE SO ITS NO ORDINARY PROBLEM, AND WE NEED TO BRING DOWN SOMEONE THAT IS REALLY BIG IN THIS BUSINESS OR THEY ARE FRONTING GUN SALES WITH SOME OTHER APPARENTLY LEGITIMATE BUSINESS.

    I HOPE OUR POLITICIANS ARE NOT PUTTING GUNS INTO THE HANS OF THUGS LIKE THE 3RED WORLD AND JAMAICAN POLITICIANS.
    Something is wrong and we need to ARREST A BIG FIFSH AND PUT HIM AWAY.
    BAINES ARE YOU AFRAID OF HIM WHY YOU KEEP TELLING US TO DO THE WORK OF THE RCIP?

  13. NJ2Cay

    I remember well the era in Newark youre refering to.

    There was also a period in South Florida (Miami/South Miami in particular) when punks were knocking off banks for fun in the late 80s.

    Floridas response has always been to engage them in the act and let the firefight take place; to give their police officers a fair chance to prove their worth and justify their salaries.

    The result was a few dead robbers, fewer wounded and dead police officers BUT after a few of these operations, almost no bank robberies…

    AND, Florida imposed a 20 year mandatory sentence for ANY crime committed with a firearm, no exceptions and these signs are posted all over Miami.

    Result ? A safer Florida for both residents and visitors.

    There was a big outcry from the tourism industry some years ago in Cayman when a newspaper published a photo of an armed police officer in the Central area of George Town after there had been two gang-related murders there in the space of a couple of days.

    That incident caused me to wonder…

    What world do these people think that they and the Cayman Islands are living in today ?

    You cannot make omelettes without breaking eggs.

    The Cayman Islands will not bring these armed robberies to an end without a little bloodletting.

    It is a sad but factual face of reality and the longer the authorities take to accept this, the more dangerous the Cayman Islands will become.

  14. The one thing that will come of this is that more and more residents will start taking the law into their own hands. RCIPS will soon have a bunch of vigilantes on their hands. Folks will start going after the bad guys where they dwell and you will see the ones that get caught in the act will most like be beaten half to death by bands of vigilantes before the cops arrive. The RCIPS will only have themselves to blame for this which will be the result of a community that feels they have been let down by the law.

    Years ago in New York City there was a group of people that started patrolling the streets at night to assist with fighting crime. They were called the Guardian Angles and were very organized, I have read many stories of NYC residents expressing how safe they felt when they saw them patrolling the streets. Eventually the group was shut down by the law citing that they didnt need them running around performing citizens arrests putting themselves in danger.

    If residents got serious about neighborhood watches or a voluntary police force it would probably be a big help. After all they would be no less armed then the actual cops. Neighborhood watch programs have been very successful with deterring crime in certain US communities, all it would take are a few folks in each district being willing to patrol the streets in shifts reporting crimes and suspicious activity.

  15. Botts,

    Re: Government! What is your basic problem? Will you let your residents protect themselves and permit them to use mace or pepper spray.

    Possession of peppery spray should be decriminalized, except for possession by a person who is attempting to, or is in the possession of a person who is committing a crime. Pepper spray works well against certain types of crimes, in certain environments, but are of limit use when youre being attacked by persons with firearms. There is an old saying: never take a knife to a gunfight

    In bat vs. firearm, pray youre the person with licensed firearms.

    I viewed the robbery portion of the video, and to catch the robbers, armed officers would have needed to be very near the property, with prior approval from Gold Command to engage, because the duration of the robbery was very short, including the act of shooting their way out of the glass door and hurricane shutter.

  16. There are any number of reasons why armed robbery has become a way of life in Grand Cayman now and none of them pleasant or acceptable.

    One of the reasons is not a lack of armed police officers in the Cayman Islands; that is a certainty.

    Compared to similar situations in cities that are much larger than the whole of Grand Cayman, much less George Town, the complete inability of Caymans police force to respond in enough time to halt any, if not all, of these robberies while in progress must appear completely amazing to other countries and their own police forces.

    And this has been the case since the early 90s when armed robbery began to become more prevalent in Cayman.

    Either the Royal Cayman Islands Police Force is the most inept, useless police force on the face of the earth when faced with the challenge of confronting violent, gun-toting criminals or…

    The political directorate in Cayman are giving restraint orders to the police in the hope that these robberies will cease on their own or are afraid of angering their voting constituents by shooting and possibly killing some of their children and family members in the process of committing armed robberies.

    It is almost a guarantee that these armed robbers are not voting constituents themselves.

    Whatever the reasons, this situation makes the Cayman Islands an extremely dangerous place now, not because armed robberies are taking place but…

    because those responsible for public safety have done and are doing absolutely none of the things that any responsible country is doing to halt these robberies and ensure that anyone committing them has any fear of the consequences.

    Maybe the political and police authorities in the Cayman Islands do not recognise anarchy in the making when they see it.

    Gunmen running rampant in your country without fear of the law or consequences is anarchy, pure and simple.

    Or maybe they have forgotten what the term anarchy means ?

  17. Elderly lady fights off jewel shop robbers

    Police have arrested four men following an attempted robbery of a jewellery shop in Northampton which was disturbed by the actions of a pensioner.

    The incident was caught on film by a member of the public.

    The film shows an elderly lady running at the helmeted group and attacking them with her handbag.

    Police arrested one man who was held by the public at the scene and subesequently made three other arrests.

    Detectives say a total of six suspects arrived at the shop on three motorbikes and attempted to smash the windows with sledgehammers.

    After being disturbed they fled the area empty handed

    Readers might want to read this story and Google the video.

    The only real difference between the United Kingdom and the Cayman Islands is that when citizens do get involved as they do in Britain, the police actually do get there in time to make arrests or stop the criminals from escaping most of the time.

    And if firearms are involved, British police firearms units do not hesitate to do the jobs they are being paid to do.

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