Hapless thief runs into top cop Baines

A hapless shoplifter got more than he bargained for when he ran into the commissioner of police as he tried to make his getaway.

Cayman’s top cop, David Baines, was driving along Fort Street when he saw the man being chased by a security guard. He stopped his car and made the arrest himself.

The shoplifter had attempted a ‘grab and dash’ at La Parfumerie II and had been cornered by a guard dog when Mr. Baines arrived on the scene.

Gerry Kirkconnell, owner of Kirk Freeport plaza where the perfume shop is located, said he was delighted with the result.

“It is good to see that the commissioner is not above getting his hands dirty and making an arrest like this when necessary,” he said.

Staff from the Security Centre were on patrol in the plaza when the theft was reported at around 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

One of the security guards Om Thapa, from the center’s K-9 unit, chased the culprit on foot, cornering him at the intersection of North and Fort Street.

A spokeswoman for the Security Centre said: “Face-to-face with the accused, Thapa gave verbal warning that the security dog, trained to high standards of obedience, agility and protection, would be released should the chase continue.

“Wisely, the man stayed put and officer Thapa was able to flag down Police Commissioner David Baines, whose car happened to be stopped at nearby traffic lights, to take him into custody.”

Stuart Bostock, president and CEO of the Security Centre, said, “Unfortunately, we’re hearing from more and more local business owners that petty theft is on the rise,”
“Our guards are often deterrent enough, but they are also trained to intervene when it’s safe to do so and they have the skills required of reliable witnesses that can assist authorities in bringing criminals to justice. In this case, Mr. Thapa’s background in the Nepalese Special Forces surely came into play. This is exactly the outcome we hope for in cases like this.”

Mr. Baines did not want to comment on the arrest, a Royal Cayman Islands Police Service spokeswoman said, because “he was just doing his job.”