Companies and supporters raise CrimeStoppers reward
The children, a 5-year-old girl and her 9-year-old brother, had been tucked into bed by their babysitter Friday night. The sitter was doing the dishes and the girl got out of bed a little before 9 p.m. for a glass of water or to use the bathroom – she was in the hallway when three men kicked in the door of her home.
They wore masks and carried guns, and they wanted to know where the money was.
Hearing the commotion, the boy got out of bed and looked around the corner. The robbers didn’t see him, so he turned around and hid in his bedroom closet. One man guarded the door and the other two, who apparently knew exactly where to go, headed to the back bedroom to get the cash.
The children’s parents, who had been out for the evening, got a call from the sitter soon after. They rushed home but police refused to let them into their Governor’s Harbour house.
The parents told their story to the Cayman Compass this week. They asked that the family members’ names not be used.
“I just remember my daughter standing in the doorway in her footie pajamas, crying, and the police wouldn’t let me go to her,” the mother said.
“This was 8:30 at night in a well-lit neighborhood,” the father said, astonished at how brazen the robbers were.
The dad, the sound of anger and regret in his voice, said he was keeping cash in the house that had been raised during the recent Rotary Sunrise car raffle. It’s unclear how much cash was involved – a Rotary Sunrise representative said it was just cash from the last day or two. “Everybody believes this was a targeted situation,” he said.
“This is something the kids will never forget for the rest of their lives, something they will have to live with for the rest of their lives,” the mother said, adding, “This happened to us and that means it could happen to you, to your children, to your family.”
“They can’t be carefree in their own home now,” the mother said.
The father said both children now check the door locks and keep the blinds drawn. His son, he said, won’t play hockey in the parking lot anymore.
“The kids ask every day, ‘Have they caught them yet? What if they come back? Is the door locked?’” the mother said.
The father told the Compass, “We taught them that bad people go to jail. Baddies, we call them.” And his son wants to know, have they been caught? Not yet. But now his father’s mission is to make sure the man are apprehended and brought to justice.
Writing this week to friends and supporters, the father called on people to help catch the robbers: “My family lived its worst nightmare and it’s one that we do not want to live again, nor do we want for any law abiding member of our community. Although likely to be scarred by this forever, my family will find a way to move past this traumatic experience but the harsh reality is that unless caught, these criminals will have prevailed.”
Around 9 p.m. Friday night, 911 received a call about an armed robbery at a Raleigh Quay residence in Governor’s Harbour, where three persons armed with what appeared to be firearms stole a quantity of cash.
Police released descriptions Sunday of the three suspects, all of whom carried guns.
One was described as a dark-skinned, slim-built, short male, about 5 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 7 inches tall, wearing a black hoodie jacket pulled over his head, a light colored bandana covering his mouth and deep blue long jeans pants.
The second was a tall, dark-skinned male with braided hair, with green and red colored beads, silver earrings in both ears, about 6 feet tall, wearing a mint green and gray colored jacket with a hoodie and a grey bandana over his mouth and nose. He was carrying what appeared to be a long firearm.
The third person was described wearing a black hoodie jacket that zipped up to the neck.
The parents, along with companies and people in the community are raising money for CrimeStoppers to boost the reward for catching the men responsible, with hopes to offer a high enough reward so people come forward and turn the gunmen in.
They are working with CrimeStoppers and, as of Wednesday afternoon, more than $110,000 had been raised as the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for the home invasion.
“What I have learned in the past few days is that the police alone cannot rid our country of these criminals and that unless we, as members of this community band together, then the crime and severity of it is likely to get worse,” the father said.