Report: Stolen police van was ‘decommissioned’

A “police utility van” that was stolen from a George Town parking lot nearly two years ago had been decommissioned prior to its theft and was in use by another Royal Cayman Islands Police Service unit.

The vehicle, which was said to be in use for surveillance purposes at the time, has never been recovered, according to information released to the Caymanian Compass under the Freedom of Information Law.

“[The van] was a decommissioned Mitsubishi L300, which was kept by another RCIPS unit for police use,” RCIPS Chief Inspector Raymond Christian noted in his response to the FOI request. “The officers of that unit virtually used their money to outfit it and make it road worthy.”

The vehicle, which police said was first reported missing on June 13, 2012, did not have its theft reported publicly for another four months.

“The [investigation into] the theft of the vehicle is being conducted by the [RCIPS Criminal Investigation Department] and to date it is my understanding that the vehicle has not been recovered,” Mr. Christian said. “No one has been arrested or charged for its theft.”

Police described the Mitsubishi as an unmarked utility van that did not have any police equipment in it at the time it was stolen.

It was understood that the van had its keys left inside at the time it was taken.

“The [RCIPS} Professional Standards Unit conducted an internal investigation of the officer who had last contact with the vehicle,” Mr. Christian said. “The unit’s investigation revealed that no officer was found in breach of any disciplinary regulations. The officer in question was given advice and guidance.”

The RCIPS response regarding the stolen police van came as the result of a Caymanian Compass open records request that sought: “All records where a police vehicle has gone missing for any reason between Jan. 1, 2009 and the date of the request, whether because of theft, misplacement or any other reason. Please state when the incident occurred and the outcome of the investigation.”

The only other issue involving a police vehicle reported in response to the open records request was the theft of Suzuki GSX-600 motorbike on Sept. 1, 2012.

The motorcycle was recovered on Oct. 31, 2012 and two men were charged with stealing it.

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