Heroes nab two robbers


    Two have-a-go heroes chased down and caught a pair of masked robbers who tried to hold up Blackbeard’s liquor store in Grand Harbour in an attempted robbery Monday afternoon.

    Police arrested the suspects, ages 17 and 18, who were armed with a shotgun and pepper spray. They remained in custody Tuesday.

    Edward Azan, one of the two fishermen who chased the robbers, said he and his friend, Charles Ebanks, had seen the pair enter the store with a shotgun and tackled them when they came out.

    “We got into a chase and we apprehended them,” said Mr. Azan, who added that the chase was a long one that felt like it lasted about a half-hour, although police said they made the arrests seven minutes after they were called.

    “It was all on foot, no vehicles,” said Mr. Azan.

    Mr. Ebanks said he had seen the men with a shotgun go toward Blackbeard’s and he and Mr. Azan grabbed from their trucks a knife and machete that they use for fishing.

    “They came out of the liquor store and one guy ran up and put the gun in my face and told me, ‘Give me your money and jewellery.’ I laughed and said ‘Not today, Bo-Bo. You’re not going to have my money and jewellery.”

    He said the robber had not seen that Mr. Ebanks was carrying a knife and so was distracted when he dropped the knife on the ground. At that point, the fisherman grabbed the shotgun from the masked robber and disarmed him.

    “There was a struggle and I took the gun from him. Then they ran off towards the bank and we followed them,” he said.

    Mr. Ebanks and Mr. Azan chased the robbers through the car park at Grand Harbour and onto Selkirk Drive before the robbers doubled back into some brush behind the Royal Bank of Canada. When they emerged, Mr. Azan and Mr. Ebanks again stopped them.

    Although Mr. Ebanks was now carrying the robber’s gun, one of the robbers threatened to use pepper spray on him.

    “One of them asked me to let him go. I told him he wasn’t going anywhere after he’d tried to rob me at gunpoint. He took the safety off the pepper spray and I told him if he sprayed me, he’d piss me off and I would beat him with this gun.

    “He must have thought I was joking because he sprayed me in my face and eyes and shirt, so I beat him with the gun,” he said.

    He said the second man ran into the bushes where he was confronted by Mr. Azan, who was carrying his machete. “Edward walked him out of the bushes and then the police came and handcuffed and arrested them,” said Mr. Ebanks.

    Both men are being lauded by the public as heroes, but Mr. Ebanks said heroism was the last thing on his mind when he stared down the barrel of the shotgun. “It was a split- second decision. I thought ‘Will I be alive tomorrow to see my son and my friends?’”

    It turned out the gun was not loaded, but Mr. Ebanks said he had no way of knowing that at the time. “You assume the worst. If a gun’s pointed at you, you assume it’s loaded,” he said.

    According to liquor store staff, the female cashier on duty at the front of the store spotted the two men, whose faces were covered by shirts, as they entered Blackbeard’s around 3.13pm. She refused to open the till and locked herself in the bathroom. The two men then left the store empty-handed.

    No shots were fired and no-one was injured in the incident, police said.

    Witnesses have suggested that a third person may have been involved, police said. They are looking for a silver-grey Pontiac four door sedan, which was parked in the vicinity of Selkirk Drive. The driver, a male, drove off as the suspects left the liquor store and were being chased.

    Anyone who was in the area and saw the incident take place, or the suspects running from the scene, should contact George Town CID on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS).


    Charles Ebanks, a fisherman, is pictured here at a recent fishing tournament. Edward Azan, pictured at fishing competition.
    Photos: Matthew Yates


    1. These two guys as well as the cashier certainly show the Caymanian spirit at it best. These are surely two crooks who won’t be trying to stick anyone else up. Hopefully the court won’t let the bravery these people showed go in vain by slapping these two thugs on the hand and letting them go. Armed robbery should equal a long and hefty prison sentence to show other potential crooks that Cayman is tired of this foolishness and the people will not take it any longer. It was only a matter a time before these creeps came across the wrong person to threaten. There ought to be some type of reward for these two men even if it means the people taking up a collection to give them something to show their appreciation for being willing to help protect the public, I’d be the first in line to donate.

    2. A STANDING OVATION TO the two caymanian heros who took a stand. Hopefully the police will find out where the gun came from….Just think, what chance would a criminal have if everyone took a stand…..again…thanks doesn’t quite seem enough.

    3. Serously? Teens?? What are you thinking? Are you that Bored AND Stupid to go and mess up your own career chances now that you’ve been caught with a firearm and attempting to do a robbery. Don’t you have better things to do? Other than do this kind of stupid stuff?

      Enjoy the new life in your Jail cell, I hope they make it absolutely uncomfortable for you.

    4. Complicated story, fishermen who were loaded with knife and machete robbed? robbers asked for money and jewelry from the fishermen who were on their way for fishing?, should they ask for knife and machete instead?, to scare someone you should point the knife direct to their face instead of dropping it on the ground, that is kids’ stuff.

    5. DonQ

      By these comments, its obvious that you’ve never been confronted by an angry, violent person in your entire life.

      If you think that the reality is anything like reported on the dead page of a newspaper or computer screen, after the fact…

      Think again…

      And quit ridiculing the actions of these brave guys.

      Anyone who knows them would have expected nothing less.

      Not all Caymanians are cowards in the face of personal danger or violence.

    6. fire the police and hire Fishermen to apprehend the criminals. Congratulations and thanks to Charles and Edward. They’re not just great fishermen, they’re Heros !
      Vince Macaluso, North Side

    7. Firery,

      My apology if I offend you but I don’t mean to ridicule those alleged courageous guys. Anybody can make their own story and I’m reading based on facts not by emotion. I want real story which is chronologically coherent and don’t believe in hearsay. I still can’t imagine why the knife on the ground scared most the robbers than machete carried by fishermen.

    8. Fantastic. I never understood how these robbers get away in Cayman. It is an Island and everyone knows everyone.

      We lived in Gibraltar and dealt with high end goods. Once asked the police officer how do you deal with robberies, he replied, Easy, we lock the border and flush them out. Gibraltar is still one of the safest places on earth, even with La Linea the arm pit of Spain next door.

    9. He said the robber had not seen that Mr. Ebanks was carrying a knife and so was distracted when he dropped the knife on the ground. At that point, the fisherman grabbed the shotgun from the masked robber and disarmed him.


      Read the above quote from the story…

      Nowhere does it say ‘scared’.

      The word used is ‘distracted’; the two words do not mean the same thing.

      Its obvious that in the tension of the moment, the man holding the knife dropped it; I have no problem accepting that this could easily have happened.

      This version of events has been written by a journalist and as to its complete accuracy of every little detail, it would be impossible to verify if one were not actually involved or was not a direct witness.

      What has been verified by the police is that two men were captured and held by two other men and a firearm and pepper spray recovered.

      Even on the barest of acknowledged facts, this was a brave action by these two men..

      That is enough for most people to accept and give them credit for.

    10. I congratulate Edward Azan and Charles Ebanks For risking their own safety to apprehend and disarm the men that made an attempt to rob Blackbeard’s in Grand Harbour-a job very well done. Azan and Ebanks are true heros in the community. I am grateful no one was hurt.

    11. My hat is off to you Charles and Edward. Young people take a lesson from these two heros, it is men like them and the Navy Seals that took out Bin Laden that you need to model yourselves after.

    12. Well done Charles and Edward!
      CayCompass, now please publish the ‘mug-shots’ of the alleged robbers as well (if that is allowed by the Courts Police).

    13. So many people congratulating these two. While it was indeed brave it was also incredibly stupid. Suppose the shotgun was loaded and in the struggle it was discharged, killing a small child in the busy family area of Grand Harbour? Would you all be rejoicing in their actions then? Of course not, and armed robbery would have quickly become manslaughter.

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