Update at 10:00 a.m. Thursday
A man, aged 32 of George Town, was arrested this morning, Nov. 23, on suspicion of criminal trespass, damage to property and attempted theft, in connection with the attempted theft of a motorcycle from the rear of the GTPS early yesterday morning.
He is currently in police custody.
Would-be thieves broke into the back parking lot of the George Town Police Station early Wednesday and attempted to take a motorcycle that was stored there, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service reported.
According to an RCIPS statement on the matter: “Two hooded males gained entry to the back lot of the station and it appears that they attempted to steal a motorcycle from a motorcycle enclosure.”
The break-in occurred around 1 a.m. Wednesday, police said. Officers said they were aware of how the intruders managed to gain entry to the enclosure, but did not want to disclose that for security reasons.
The suspects were seen by police officers and fled before they managed to take the motorbike. No arrests had been reported in the incident by press time Wednesday.
This is not the first time criminal suspects have found their way into the back area of the George Town Police Station, which is used to store wrecked or seized vehicles and other evidence taken during police operations.
Five non-street legal dirt bikes were taken from the same area in March 2016 by individuals who got into the back lot unnoticed, and another three motorbikes were taken in late February 2016. Three of the motorbikes taken were recovered and arrests made at the time.
The motorbikes involved in those incidents had all been seized during police operations cracking down on the use of illegal dirt bikes that have plagued Cayman Islands roads in the past two years.
It appeared the suspects in the early 2016 thefts climbed over the back wall of the police station which is adjacent to the Elizabethan Square property, took the motorbikes and then walked out of the main security gate which opens via motion sensor. Since that incident occurred, the police have made security enhancements to the area, including the installation of a barbed wire fence around most of the compound above the concrete wall that encircles it.
Police officers have since been stationed in the back lot area “around the clock,” Deputy Commissioner Kurt Walton said at the time.
There was no immediate word on how the suspects managed to get into the lot during Wednesday’s early morning break-in.
In addition to the 2016 dirt bike thefts, a significant quantity of cocaine and ganja was stolen from a police container in the back yard of the police station in July 2015.
After initially reporting that nothing had been taken in the July 13, 2015 break-in, 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. Former Police Commissioner David Baines said that police officers were being investigated in connection with the drug thefts, but no officers were ever charged in connection with the case.
Under formal questioning in the Legislative Assembly, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson revealed that 24 kilograms of cocaine and 33 kilograms of ganja were stolen from the container in July 2015. 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.