Four robberies in week

WestStar robbery suspects lg

From the start of 2012, it appeared two back-to-back record setting years for robberies in the Cayman Islands were at an end.  

There had been just eight such incidents between January and March of this year, putting the territory on a trend that would have seen about half the robberies in 2012 than it had seen during each of the past two years.  

Between January and March 2012, there were eight robberies reported in the Cayman Islands, according to Royal Cayman Islands Police Service statistics. Compare that with 24 robberies reported during the same period of 2011.  

Then armed suspects struck four times within a week. All of the incidents involved cash being taken from local businesses.  

“After a short period of reprieve, local businesses are once again faced with the need to consider stricter security measures to protect their staff, property and assets,” read a statement from the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce issued Friday. “These types of crime not only have a direct effect on morale within the community, they also affect how we are viewed as a place to conduct business, invest and visit.”  

Overall, news for crime in the Cayman Islands was positive during the first quarter of 2012. Violent crime dropped by nearly 5 per cent from the year before, while total crime dropped by nearly 12 per cent, according to police reports.  

The only serious increases in violent crime occurred in the areas of serious assaults, reports of which went from three in the first quarter of 2011, to eight in the first quarter of this year; and rapes, which rose from one report to eight reports during the same period.  

Burglary, which accounted for roughly 75 per cent of all crime reports in the Cayman Islands so far in 2012, stayed about the same from year-to-year.  

However, police noted that officers on the beat have seen a spate of burglaries recently and were concerned about the uptick.  

“Burglars can, and will, strike at all times of the day or night – that’s why we need you, the public, to take all necessary steps to make your home/business secure,” said RCIPS Chief Inspector Frank Owens. “If a burglar has the choice of two properties, one with security or locked windows and doors, or another without such measures, he or she will take the easy option.”  

 

Texaco robbed 

Thursday night around 10pm, the Eastern Avenue Texaco station was held up, according to police reports.  

According to RCIPS Chief Inspector Robert Scotland: “The call … advised that the gas station was being robbed by a person who was armed with what was believed to be a firearm. Police responded, however, upon arrival no suspect was present.”  

There were no shots fired and no one was injured during the incident. 

The Eastern Avenue gas station was last robbed in September 2011 by suspects that witnesses said were wearing police jackets.  

 

Two robberies 

Broad daylight robberies plagued two businesses in George Town and Bodden Town on Wednesday.  

A quick arrest was made in connection with the Bodden Town robbery, which involved the Cashwiz business next door to the Pirate Caves. A masked man was able to enter through the front door due to the lock malfunctioning.  

“The door frame was swollen up from all the rain,” said manager Lianne Macdonald. “We usually have to buzz everybody in, but today [the door lock] wasn’t working.”  

Around 1.30pm Wednesday, the lone man armed with what appeared to be a firearm and wearing a skull mask, entered the Cashwiz. CCTV video shown to the Caymanian Compass depicted the man pointing the weapon at the store manager and yelling that he wanted money and gold. After receiving an amount of money, the store manager said the man yelled again that he wanted gold and then received one item of jewellery.  

Shortly after the robbery, police caught up with the suspect and arrested him. Chief Inspector Scotland hailed the arrest by unarmed officers as “heroic”.  

Two hours before the Cashwiz incident, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service detectives investigated a robbery at Shop Right on Walkers Road in George Town.  

About 11.35am Wednesday, police said a man, who had his head covered with a large yellow cloth, entered the Shop Right store. Police said he threatened staff with a knife and demanded cash.  

The man left the store with a sum of money and a small quantity of cigarettes.  

 

Cayman 27 

The local TV operation, WestStar, was also robbed in broad daylight on 24 May.  

Three masked robbers entered the offices of WestStar Television on Thursday afternoon and held up employees in the bill payment area, according to officials with the company. Two of the three suspects had firearms, police said.  

The incident happened around 3pm that Thursday. No one was hurt and no shots were fired.  

The armed men did receive some money and quickly left the scene, according to police.  

The station has since put out CCTV video and offered rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the robbery suspects. Three men were initially arrested in connection with the 24 May robbery, but they have since been released. 

WestStar robbery suspects

Robbers at the WestStar TV customer counter on 24 May. – Photo: RCIPS
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5 COMMENTS

  1. Robberies in Cayman these days would be laughable if it were not for the seriousness of the crimes. The robbers are one step ahead of the police and business owners in that they disguise themselves in masks and hoodies to hide their identity. It begs the question, whats the real purpose of CCTV video when the thug’s face is hidden from view?

    Another ongoing problem is that people who know the perpetrators are either reluctant or definitely refuse to identify them to the police. May be such persons share the loot or fear retribution.

    Let us not fool ourselves into thinking that crime only affects the victims. As the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce stated, These types of crime not only have a direct effect on morale within the commuity, they also affect how we are viewed as a place to conduct business, invest and visit. Perfectly stated. Without a doubt, such crimes generate very negative publicity that can do more harm than good to the island that heavily depends on business, foreign investments and tourism to grow the economy.

    I have said it all along that crime is everybody’s business as it affects all of us directly or indirectly. Also, everyone needs to be more security conscious. As RCIPS Chief Inspector Frank Owens pointed out, Burglars can, and will, strike at all times of the day or night – thats why we need you, the public, to take all necessary steps to make your home/business secure. The Cayman of yesteryear where crime was not a major problem is past and gone forever. Let us do what it takes to rid the society of this cancer. The police alone cannot do it.

    Geoff Daniels

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  2. Danny

    Your statement: ‘The Cayman of yesteryear where crime was not a major problem is past and gone forever. Let us do what it takes to rid the society of this cancer. The police alone cannot do it.’ sums it up quite succinctly.

    The crime of ‘yesteryear’ was not a major problem because society, then, did take care to control and rid itself of those troublemakers.
    A strong knit community sharing common, and agreed upon, social morals and values could/would contain and control those undesirable criminal elements.
    It’s obvious the police cannot do it alone, but the society cannot rid itself of this cancer, in this present day, because its hands are tied by the laws and the justice system.
    The society of ‘yesteryear’ somehow managed to; with or without the police….how was that?

    Today, criminals have more rights than either society or its citizens.
    Today, if any of us were harmed physically (or killed) the perpetrator would receive a relatively light sentence, at Northward, in my opinion.
    Today, if I physically or emotionally harmed (or killed) a criminal while he/they were invading my home I would probably receive a life sentence.

    Crime wasn’t that much of a problem in the past so what’s the difference between ‘yesteryear’ and today?

    The reality is that the criminals have more human rights than the citizens of today than the past.

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  3. Why not make it ileagel to wear a mask, face covering etc for other than religious reasons subject to interview by police, work safety reasons, and such for all persons. At least when the bad guys come through the door they would be noted and perhaps given a hold up alarm system the shops may have a chance to protect themselves. As I have said before unless a video system is monitered 24/7 it is useless as a defense system against crime generally. It may help as a reactive tool but it is not proactive used only to reconstruct an event unless it is extremely lucky or the criminal is really stupid.

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