For the second time this year, visitors on Grand Cayman’s North Side district have been the victims of a serious crime – the latest incident being a home invasion that occurred at 2:30 a.m. Saturday – while a father and son were sleeping.
John Guelzow, of Golden, Colorado, was visiting his family’s vacation home on Rum Point Drive with his 12-year-old son for a few weeks when the break-in occurred. The family has a close connection to Cayman and has owned the property for about 15 years, Mr. Guelzow said.
“At 2:30 a.m., my bedroom door creaked open,” Mr. Guelzow said. “I got up thinking the wind blew the door open. Then I saw movement outside of my door and two men … they were coming into my bedroom.”
It appeared the two men, who he described as “large black men,” had already been in his son’s bedroom, Mr. Guelzow said. While the boy slept, they took his phone from a bedside table, a laptop computer, a stereo speaker, a Kindle, sunglasses and the boy’s clothes.
“They took all his clothes,” Mr. Guelzow said. “They stole a 12-year-old boy’s clothes.”
The boy slept through the whole thing. He was not injured in the incident, his dad confirmed.
“I’m really grateful he didn’t wake up with someone standing over him,” Mr. Guelzow said.
When the home invasion burglars made it to Mr. Guelzow’s door, he started yelling for them to get out of his house. He said he chased the suspects through a window and “out they went.” The window, which had been left open, had its screen cut out, apparently allowing the burglars to enter.
Mr. Guelzow said there have been burglaries in the 15 years his family has owned the Rum Point Drive home, but there has never been an incident where criminal suspects entered the home when they knew it was occupied.
“That’s the difference,” he said. “In the old days, [burglaries happened] when no one was home. Now they’re coming in the house when people are home and they know it.”
The Coloradan said his family will keep the North Side property and that they have a “personal family attachment” to Cayman, so they wouldn’t consider leaving. However, they only visit for a few weeks a year and often rent the home to friends and family when they are not around.
“Now when we have friends and family over, we have to tell them it isn’t that safe,” he said.
An emphatic point was put on that statement when, about two months earlier, Mr. Guelzow’s next door neighbor – a 77-year-old Kentucky man – was punched in the face during an evening robbery on Jan. 11. The elderly visitor was sitting on the back deck with his 76-year-old wife and another woman, 61, when they were set upon. The suspects took cash, jewelry, an iPad, three cellphones and a watch. The elderly man had to be treated for injuries to his face and an eye.
One suspect has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.
Cayman Crime Stoppers offered an $8,000 reward last week for additional information on leads resulting in arrests or the recovery of property in connection with the January crime.
Mr. Guelzow’s wife, Kim Willoughby, who was not on Grand Cayman at the time of Saturday’s burglary/home invasion, said both Royal Cayman Islands Police and North Side MLA Ezzard Miller were looking into the matter. “All in all, our neighborhood seems very alarmed and very mad,” she said.