A series of five armed robberies in six days earlier this month continued a trend of increasing robberies for the year, according to figures obtained by the Cayman Compass.
Through last Wednesday, July 11, there had been a total of 24 robberies reported in the Cayman Islands.
For all of 2017, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service reported 31 robberies on Grand Cayman. If the current rate of robberies continues, the island would see a total of 45 robberies by the end of 2018.
George Town businesses and residents have suffered the most from hold-ups so far this year, with a total of 17 crimes committed since the beginning of the year in Grand Cayman’s largest district.
Eight businesses and nine individuals were robbed, according to police. Firearms were used in four of the eight George Town business robberies.
West Bay district has reported five robberies, including one at a business, since the beginning of the year and Bodden Town district has reported two, both at businesses and both with firearms involved.
Perhaps more troubling, police statistics show that if robbery suspects target local businesses, they are going in armed.
Of the 11 business robberies so far this year, firearms were used in seven of them.
“We understand the fear and concern of the public after several robberies on the island,” Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said last week.
Mr. Byrne pointed out that police patrols specifically targeted at nighttime robberies and burglaries were out Tuesday night and led to a quick response to a robbery at Captain’s Bakery and Grill that evening. A 17-year-old suspect was taken into custody in the incident and is now before the courts.
Mr. Byrne also noted police were looking into the possibility that some of the robberies could involve the same suspects.
Two of the armed robberies at businesses earlier this month involved property owned by the same business, Al La Kebab. One of the company’s food trucks was robbed in Red Bay July 5 and its food stand in George Town was robbed July 7.
It was believed multiple suspects were involved in both Al La Kebab robberies.
The robbery Tuesday, July 10 at Captain’s Bakery also is thought to have involved more than one person and is just a short distance from where the Al La Kebab eatery that was robbed on July 7.
“Investigations are under way to determine if these incidents are linked,” Mr. Byrne said.