Police are investigating the stabbing and robbery of a 60-year-old man in West Bay, the latest of three armed robberies in Grand Cayman Monday night.
The victim showed up at the West Bay police station, bleeding from the side of his throat, police said. He told officers two men attacked and robbed him of $9 on Boggy Sand Road, near the four-way stop about 10.40pm.
Emergency services stabilised the injured man. He was taken to the hospital in serious condition and underwent emergency surgery.
“Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen this gentleman on his bicycle to contact the police, also anyone who has any information regarding the attack is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers,” Chief Inspector Robert Scotland said.
The attack was the last of three violent robberies that occurred during four hours on Monday night.
Four masked robbers, one armed with a handgun, threatened staff and robbed Kirk Freeport in The Strand at 6.45pm.
Gerry Kirkconnell, owner of Kirk Freeport, said the robbers made off with expensive watches, including a Breitling, but no other jewellery. “Our security guard and his dog were scheduled to come on 10 minutes later,” Mr. Kirkconnell said.
The store handed over to police its closed-circuit television surveillance tape of the robbery, as well as footage of people who have been in the store in recent weeks.
Police said there were no customers in the store at the time, but several staff members were present. No shots were fired and no one was injured. Police said the men fled on foot. Armed police responded to the scene and searched the area.
“This is the first armed robbery we’ve had at any Kirk Freeport,” Mr. Kirkconnell said.
Another store owner, Reflections’ Prentice Panton, is no stranger to armed robberies. Staff at his Savannah store Reflections Liquor-4-Less on Hirst Road, which recently opened with extended hours until 10pm, were held up by two men with covered faces who stole cash from the shop around 9.15pm Monday – the latest in a string of robberies at Reflections stores in recent years.
Mr. Panton, who was driving home from the airport after a New Year’s holiday in Mexico when he got a call that the store had been robbed, said doors of the store are usually locked and only opened when customers want inside.
“One of the staff had gone outside to move her vehicle closer to the store as it was getting close to closing time. While she was outside, the other staff member was by the door when two males dressed in black approached. They came from the side of the building, from the bushes at the edge of the property, pushed their way in and demanded cash,” Mr. Panton said.
Staff told him the robbers were armed with an orange flare gun and a machete. One of the men struck the staff member on the shoulder with the machete. “He must have struck him with the flat of the machete – he wasn’t injured. It was probably for intimidation,” Mr. Panton said, adding that the pair made off with a small amount of cash.
“They must have been watching the store and got their opportunity when [the staff member] went outside to move the car and the door was unlocked,” he said.
Shortly before the robbery, the staff had confronted a shoplifter in the store. “Two incidents within a hour,” the store owner said, adding that the description of the shoplifter did not match the descriptions of either of the two robbers.
“People say I should close up at night, but this is happening at all hours of the day,” Mr. Panton said. During an 18-month period in 2010 and 2011, Reflections stores throughout Grand Cayman were robbed seven times.
While his stores have security guards, he said they are effectively doormen. “We have security guards that cannot even carry handcuffs or mace. They can’t carry firearms and they can’t even wear bulletproof vests,” he said.
Comparing security in Mexico to Cayman, he described the presence of Federales, the Mexican Federal Police, carrying M-16 rifles on street corners. While he doesn’t want to see something like that in Cayman to deter crime, he said: “We definitely need something stronger than what we have.”
Anyone with information about any of the robberies is asked to contact the following numbers: For the Kirk Freeport store robbery, call George Town Criminal Investigation Department at 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers at 800-8477; for the Reflections Liquor-4-Less robbery, call Bodden Town Criminal Investigation Department at 947-2220 or 947-2240 or Crime Stoppers; and for the West Bay stabbing, contact West Bay Police Station at 949-3999 or Crime Stoppers.