Images of two men who carried out a brazen diamond heist at a Camana Bay jewelry store are being circulated internationally, with police increasingly convinced the robbery was a “professional job.”
Detectives believe the pair may have come to Cayman specifically to carry out the raid and left the island quickly afterward, possibly by boat.
“It was a professional job, there is no doubt about that,” said Detective Superintendent Mike Cranswick.
“It was quite brazen, no face covering, which is unusual, no gloves, no real drama inside the store. They only pulled the guns when they needed to and when the gun was racked, it was pointed to the floor.”
He said the robbers, who spoke Spanish during the raid at Island Jewellers shortly before 9 p.m. on Feb. 17, knew what they were looking for and escaped with several loose diamonds.
In the aftermath, the police helicopter searched roads and waterways, and crystal-clear CCTV images of the men were immediately circulated at the airport.
Since then, marine police have helped with the search, but police accept it is possible the robbers may have escaped the territory.
Police have released new CCTV footage as they continue to search for the white dirt bike used as a getaway vehicle. The images show the bike passing through the Fidelity roundabout minutes after the robbery, heading in the direction of West Bay.
“We want to know where that bike went after it left the Fidelity roundabout. It did not come out by Cost-U-Less, where the next government camera is. It has either gone left to West Bay Road or right toward the canals and waterways,” said Mr. Cranswick.
The CCTV images show the dirt bike almost colliding with another vehicle as it pulls away from its parking spot by construction hoardings at the entrance to the closed Camana
Way at 8:46 p.m. Earlier footage shows the bike arriving with a single rider, who parks and meets his accomplice in front of the Apple Store.
Mr. Cranswick said the entire event, from the first appearance of the bike to the escape, took just six minutes.
He said he has no doubt someone would have seen the dirt bike, arriving or leaving the scene, and urged anyone with information to come forward.
Since the robbery, images of the men have been circulated locally, including in bars and areas where Cayman’s Spanish-speaking community gathers. So far, they have not been identified.
“To not hide your identity, you would think these people have come into the island to do the job and maybe have left. They may be still on island, we don’t know. We are not ruling anything out at this point,” Mr. Cranswick said.
He said police have been working with Immigration, Customs, airport security and Interpol since the robbery.
“They were Spanish speaking. I am not going to speculate if they were from Cuba, Honduras or anywhere else. Interpol can hopefully assist in terms of identification,” Mr. Cranswick added.
He said the certificates and security markings of the diamonds had also been shared with Interpol and it would be difficult for the jewels to be sold to a legitimate diamond dealer.
There were reported sightings of both men in bars in Cayman before the robbery. The man in the Armani T-shirt was reportedly seen in Camana Bay town center around 2 p.m. on the day of the raid. Wearing the same shirt, he was also seen at the Strand shopping center the day before.
Even if the robbery was carried out by international criminals, Mr. Cranswick believes they would have had support locally.
Anyone with information can call George Town CID on 949-4222 or 649-4222, or the Crime Stoppers Miami-based call center at 800-8477(TIPS).