Seized dirt bikes stolen from police station

Multiple security breaches since last summer

Five illegal dirt bikes confiscated during police operations earlier this year were stolen from the rear yard of the George Town Police Station sometime over the weekend, police reported Tuesday, following questions about the theft from local news outlets.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service revealed that three other dirt bikes went missing from behind the police station on Feb. 29. Three of the eight bikes that were stolen were recovered Tuesday in George Town.

Dirt bikes were stolen from this enclosure behind the George Town Police Station. - PHOTO: MATT LAMERS
Dirt bikes were stolen from this enclosure behind the George Town Police Station. – PHOTO: MATT LAMERS

“These bikes were recently confiscated as part of a police crackdown on off-road bikes around the island and were chained with padlocks in a fenced area in the rear yard,” said RCIPS Chief Superintendent Kurt Walton. “Thieves cut through the chain and the fence locks to gain access to the bikes.”

It appears the culprits climbed over the back wall of the police station, took the dirt bikes from where they were being kept and then simply walked out the main gate which opens via a motion sensor. No code or key card is required to exit the fence, only to enter.

CCTV cameras that monitor the backyard area of the main police station are installed and are supposed to record the premises 24-7. However, Mr. Walton said those cameras did not appear to be working on either Feb. 29 or this weekend when the dirt bikes were taken.

Police officers have now been stationed to monitor the backyard lot around the clock.

Additional chain link fencing with barbed wire is being installed on top of the concrete wall that encircles the facility and a night time lock will be placed on the lot entrance, police said.

Mr. Walton said the dirt bike thefts represent just one of the many problems police are encountering in a condemned station building that is no longer fit for that purpose and is essentially deteriorating around them.

“The rear yard of George Town Police Station was originally intended as a carpark, not a police compound,” said Mr. Walton. “The security for this area has been a problem for us since the 1990s. We continue to struggle with the limitations of providing 21st century policing with a building that was long exceeded its building life span.”

Drugs theft

In addition to the recent thefts of dirt bikes, a significant quantity of cocaine and ganja was stolen from a police container in the back yard of the police station last July.

After initially reporting that nothing had been taken in a July 13, 2015 break-in outside the police station, the RCIPS confirmed in September 2015 that “a quantity” of illegal drugs was taken from an evidence container there. The container was used to store “old evidence” and “drugs awaiting disposal,” police said at the time.

The police also stated in September that the “actions of those responsible” for following evidence handling and storage procedures at the police station would be reviewed. Police Commissioner David Baines has publicly stated since then that police officers were being investigated in connection with the drug thefts.

Under formal questioning in the Legislative Assembly by Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson revealed that 24 kilograms of cocaine and 33 kilograms of ganja were stolen from the container. Mr. Manderson indicated that the drugs were not intended to be used as evidence in any ongoing investigation, but had been set aside for destruction at the earliest opportunity after having washed ashore.

After multiple thefts from the rear yard of the George Town Police Station, the RCIPS is installing barbed wire to deter would-be thieves. - Photo: Matt Lamers
After multiple thefts from the rear yard of the George Town Police Station, the RCIPS is installing barbed wire to deter would-be thieves. – Photo: Matt Lamers

Building problems known

Commissioner Baines and Ministry of Home Affairs Chief Officer Eric Bush have both spoken repeatedly in the past five to six years about the need for new and/or improved jail cells and police station facilities generally, in George Town and in West Bay. However, funding for those improvements has not been available as Cayman has struggled through budget difficulties in recent years.

Concern regarding the police jails was practically the first public statement made by Commissioner Baines after he took the job in June 2009.

“There was a real issue … about West Bay, actually the station, the size of the community, and the demands facing it is another area,” he said following a meeting with Cayman Islands Cabinet members. “We’ve raised with the governor the state of the central [George Town] lock-up and detention facilities on [Grand Cayman] which, if we’re going to prefer obligations under human rights legislation, need to be addressed and fairly quickly.”

Mr. Bush said more recently that, going back to 2008, plans for a modern police holding facility were set for the proposed Bodden Town Emergency Centre.

However, in early 2010, plans for the $15 million combined police, fire and medical response station were “delayed indefinitely” due to a lack of funding.

“We planned to build the new jail at the Bodden Town Emergency Centre, but due to the economy it just couldn’t happen,” Mr. Bush said.

Since that time, government has installed modular units in the Fairbanks area of George Town for prisoner detention. Those modular units just opened for police use this weekend, officials confirmed. In 2015, the Progressives-led administration proposed moving the George Town Police Station to a new facility, but that has not occurred.


  1. Cayman is struggling through budget difficulties, has become a password. Why ?, because it is the best excuse to give the public, some of whom don’t even know A from “Bull foot ” they being handed a fishing line with no bait.
    In plain English and Cayman Lingo , Reading that items are being stolen from the police department is “Not Good” Days gone by when there were just a handful of police, these things rarely happened; and if it did the culprits were caught.
    I do not understand what kind a way, we can have cheap not working cameras at a police station. “Not Good”
    I always say we should not short change the police on anything. The police are the persons who protect us, and we should stop grumbling and mumbling because 95% of them are doing a very good job.
    Read what Police Chief Walton says? and he is very correct. but you know what is happening. I say we are being too cheap to wards the continued efforts of the police force , blaming everything on Budget strain’s and are expecting them to make bread out of stone. No one sees, or writes about all the good they do, but if they do not cross a t it is all over the island, on sea and on land. I would say of all places the police force in all areas should be closely monitored, and all staff well taken care of, from their fleet of cars and boats, up-to-date equipment’s down to the shine of their boots.

  2. This issue is really baffling to what is really needed at the George town police station . We have CCTV that didn’t work on certain days , we have a old police station , we now have to put police officers to monitor the back yard , when there’s nothing to monitor because the drugs and the dirt bikes have already been stolen .
    A night lock will placed on the faculty , what about a lock on the faculty 24/7 that one or two people are responsible for the key .

    The security for this area has been a problem for us since 1990 , we continue to struggle limitation of providing 21st century policing with a building that long exceeds the building life span .

    So are we saying that if we get a new police station that policing would be great , and security would be great .
    If you ask me after making that kind of statement, that what we need is a new police station and new police them we would be up to 21st century policing .

  3. I am very amused during and after reading this news report. What has happened to common sense. How could the dirt bikes be just left without being chained or anchored somehow to each other which would make it more difficult to move. Also alarming is the drug theft report that “a significant quantity of cocaine and ganja was stolen from a police container in the backyard of the police station.” Apparently, these items were removed with considerable ease, based on the insecurity of the “backyard.” Certain questions arise. These dirt bikes are not so small machines that require some muscle to move without notice with a “lookout” accomplice during the theft. Who is directly responsible for seeing to the security of these items? Could there be an “inside” job either by inmates or law enforcement personnel? If the police can’t police themselves, in matters like these,what then?It would be laughable had it not been so serious. I guess an effort will now be made to close the gate after the horse has galloped out.

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