A security guard was shot twice during a Saturday night armored truck robbery outside the Foster’s Food Fair-IGA Airport grocery store in George Town.

The guard, 51, underwent surgery overnight Saturday for bullet wounds in his arm and leg and was expected to survive.

The suspects involved got away with a “good amount” of cash being collected by the truck, according to Foster’s Managing Director Woody Foster. However, Mr. Foster said the money is insured and it was the furthest thing from his mind when considering what might have happened in the incident.

“We’re just amazed that only the guard was shot,” Mr. Foster said. “A number of shots were fired. It was extremely busy at the store, which is the really frightening part. It was a lot of [gunshot] shells spent in a very crowded place.

“This really could have been a lot worse.”

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said the robbery attempt occurred around 7:10 p.m. Saturday. Typically, Saturday evenings are among the busiest times of the week for the store.

Police said two security guards were protecting the armored truck, but only one suffered gunshot injuries. Both were taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital Saturday following the shooting.

The second guard was not injured in the incident, but was “a bit shaken,” said RCIPS Chief Inspector Frank Owens. That guard was checked out and later released from hospital.

No arrests were immediately reported.

PHOTO: Taneos Ramsay

Mr. Foster said his businesses have not been exempt from criminal activity in the past decades, but he acknowledged it had been “a long time” since a serious incident like this occurred on a Foster’s property. He said new security measures would have to be put in place in the wake of the robbery, but indicated there was no foolproof way to protect against this kind of activity.

He said he knew his staff members would be scared by what happened and that “no one would want to work that shift” on Saturday nights.

“All of our staff are going to be nervous,” he said. “We have a lot of girls that walk home at night. It just puts staff on edge.”

While the staff might have been upset, store customers were seemingly less so. Mr. Foster said many continued to shop on Saturday night after the robbery had occurred. He also commended the quick response of the RCIPS, ambulance services and the armored truck company to the incident. “It’s just amazing, human nature; people came together and did what they could to help. Nobody was giving the police a hard time.”

Second heist

The Saturday night armored car robbery was the second such attempt to occur within the past two months.

RCIPS officers said a gunman opened fire on an armored vehicle during a Feb. 20 robbery attempt on Eastern Avenue.

A guard was struck in that incident when shots were fired around 6:30 p.m. while the vehicle was picking up cash from a money transfer business in that area. The security company employee’s protective vest deflected the gun shots.

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  1. RCIPS officers said a gunman opened fire on an armored vehicle during a Feb. 20 robbery attempt on Eastern Avenue

    As I said in my comments on this reported attack…it was only a matter of time before a security guard was shot…again…in the line of protecting…. (I use the word very loosely as I cannot see how unarmed people can protect anything….or anyone, from determined, armed criminals)…and might not be as lucky as the last one was.

    Well…this one was a little bit luckier…as he’s been wounded but not killed.

    In the reporting of this incident….and comments made so far…the lack of concern for the condition of the security guard is very evident.

    What a thankless,task they have…making peanuts to protect people’s money who don’t give a hoot about them or whether they live or die for the work they do.

    The Cayman Islands is truly a cold and merciless place that is best avoided by those of us who can.

  2. This issue is what the Premier should have touched on his campaign opening . Rodney is completely right that no one cares about the what the employees have to do with protecting people’s money .

    Why aren’t the security Companies not pushing for Laws to have their employees guards armed and protected ? The crime issue is just as big as the GT dump .

  3. Sorry Ricardo but while I agree these people make peanuts for a thankless job I can’t agree that people don’t care about them when they are injured.
    I think most people are appalled by what is happening on our previously peaceful island home.

    I do agree that these guards, being unarmed, can’t actually protect anything.
    Much as I hate the thought of more guns here I think we have no choice but to arm our police and arm TRAINED security guards.

  4. Norman
    Action speaks louder than words….or tears…or condolences to bereaved families.

    My comments are in reference to the highest in authority and wealthiest in cayman…not the average citizen.

    These are the people with the power to invoke the training and arming clause in the private security law that regulates the industry.

    They have been repeatedly warned that not doing so would put innocent lives at risk.

    Their silence on the issue is deafening.

    What othere conclusion can I come to but that they don’t care ?

  5. Thank God he’ll be ok.

    I’ve always wondered whether they carried guns or not. That’s a dangerous job as thieves are always casing homes, shops, etc. They of all people should be armed seeing as this had happened before.

    My suggestion to Mr. Foster is that since so many of his workers that are women walk home, to hire a bus for peace of mind and drop them home. I would really like to see a step taken in that direction. I know it shouldn’t be your responsibility but I’m sure their family would more than appreciate it.

  6. Ricardo, I’m 100% behind you on this.

    Anyone remember this story from 10 years ago? ‘Tragedy struck the Cayman Islands Port Authority on 12 February as a security guard at its cargo distribution centre was struck and killed by a forklift. The victim was identified as 43-year-old Samuel Dofredo of the Philippines. A strange twist in the story occurred when it was learned that Mr. Dofredo had been shot during a March 2006 bank robbery in West Bay. A trial in the robbery case had been scheduled for later in the spring and Mr. Dofredo would have been a witness. No connection was ever made between the cargo centre accident and the pending court case by authorities.’

    And rather conveniently none of the CCTV cameras in the area were working at the time he was killed. Less than a month later all charges against three of those accused of involvement in the robbery at the Centennial Towers branch of CNB were dropped. I remember talking to members of the Filipino community at the time – they were convinced it was a cover up.

  7. I think that this last armed robbery should give Government and the employer’s something to really think about and solve. The employee getting injury on the job . Do the employer have to pay for all expenses that comes from incident ? Or do their Insurance pick up that tab ? Would the Insurance company have to raise the employer premiums ? Then how long can the employer keep passing those expenses on to their clients ?

    I still don’t understand why the Premier / Leader of Government didn’t address the crime issue in Cayman Islands in his big campaign opening , knowing that armed robberys have happend on the Island, and this one just happened .