The Cayman Islands is one of the world’s foremost offshore financial centers, home to complex multibillion-dollar corporate structures. Accordingly, you would think that the crimes committed here would tend to be really smart.
Sure, every now and then we come across a truly sophisticated operation – such as the global FIFA scandal revolving around Jeffrey Webb, the CarePay shenanigans of Canover Watson (and alleged co-conspirator Webb), or the perfectly executed, textbook robbery of the Camana Bay jewelry store in February 2016.
Those luminosities aside, the sorts of crimes we see happening here, more often than not, are straightforward, smash-and-grab, stick-em-up affairs.
And then, of course, there are crimes that are just plain dumb.
Considering it’s political campaign season, we’ll start off by mentioning the defacing of candidate billboards and signs. Many of our readers between the ages of 6 and 10 might be in tune with the comedic vibe of scrawling beards, moustaches and sunglasses on the images of political candidates who have fallen into their personal disfavor, but we consider the practice – akin to applying a Sharpie to the inside wall of a bathroom stall – to constitute a decidedly low-IQ affair. Yes, scribbling devil horns and misspelled curse words can effectively get a message across, but does not necessitate the engagement of higher-order brain functions.
On Tuesday night, Progressives incumbent Marco Archer was hosting a campaign event outside his party’s headquarters on Crewe Road. No less a luminary than our own Premier, the Hon. Alden McLaughlin, was at the microphone, saying nice things about his Cabinet colleague, candidate Archer.
Meanwhile, a motorcyclist with the misguided aim of disrupting Mr. McLaughlin’s speech, zoomed by the event, gunning his engine so the noise would drown out the microphone – a bad idea, poorly executed.
At first, the motorcyclist’s strategy was going according to plan – until he slammed his vehicle into a car which then hit another car. Emergency personnel responded, scraping his smashed motorcycle from the road. In the ensuing mayhem, the motorcyclist took off on foot, a real-life reminder of the following truism: “The trouble with trouble is that it always starts out as fun …”
Then there is the story of the East End man charged with vandalizing the personal vehicle of a police officer, about 24 hours after the officer had responded to the scene of the tragic May 2 car crash that killed four people.
In this case, not only is the alleged offense an unthinking one, but so, too, is the posited motivation for the action – that is, retaliation against the officer for his imagined involvement in a car chase that police deny ever occurred, for which no substantial evidence has been put forth, and which, if it had happened, would have been completely justified.
Criminal brainlessness is not a new phenomenon in Cayman (or elsewhere). Here’s one of our favorites from the archives: In December 2014, four young men held up Blackbeard’s Liquor Store in Grand Harbor, using a distinctive gold-colored shotgun and making off with about $5,000 … but not for very long. This was far from a perfect crime.
Within an hour of the robbery, all four bandits were located at or outside the nearby home of one of the men, Andrew Lopez, who had used his mother’s black SUV as the getaway vehicle (which was sitting in the driveway of the home when police arrived), and who at the time of the hold-up was wearing an electronic monitor (which enabled police to track his movements). At the property, police found the gold-colored shotgun, as well as proceeds from the armed robbery, which had been captured on the store’s CCTV.
Going farther back, we are reminded of a story about a would-be burglar who broke into a waterfront bar in the middle of the night so he could help himself to alcoholic beverages without running up a tab. During the caper, he apparently started feeling a bit sleepy – when staff arrived the next morning, they found the mastermind snoozing on top of the beer cooler.
Departing from specific examples and speaking generally, any illegal activity that involves littering or machetes – as opposed to shell companies or fountain pens – probably falls into the category of dumb crime.
We are being lighthearted of course, but come on, Cayman, we can do better than this … even when we’re doing wrong.