It might be one of the most bizarre and brazen thefts in recent memory – more than 50 scuba tanks stolen from a dive shop in the middle of a national lockdown.
Cayman Diving is offering $1,000 reward for information leading to the return of the property believed to have been taken from outside its shop on the George Town waterfront some time between early Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.
“If someone happens to see their neighbour with 60 scuba tanks in their garden that they didn’t have before, please give us a call,” said Mark Williams, owner of the business which also trades as Divers Down.
He said the tanks, which were left on the dock outside the shop, would have taken several people a long time to move. Each one weighs 25lbs and the thieves would have had to make multiple journeys heaving them up steps to waiting vehicles.
“We have got two pick-up trucks and I don’t think the amount of tanks they have taken would fit into those,” Williams added.
He is equally baffled as to what the motive might have been for the theft.
“Who wants 50 or 60 scuba tanks, unless you want to start a dive shop and who is doing that right now?” he said.
The business, like every other dive shop on island, has been closed since the curfews came into place in March.
Williams says he plans to reopen as soon as he gets permission and still has enough tanks to operate. But he said he was anxious to get back the tanks, collectively worth around $12,000.
He is still trying to figure out how anyone could have walked away with such a large number of heavy tanks at a time when the island is under curfew.
“If they took them at night, I would assume that the police would have stopped them just for being on the road,” he said.
The only other option is that someone backed up a truck and made off with the tanks in the middle of the day – possibly making two or three journeys to carry the full load.
“I suppose if someone turned up with a truck and started moving tanks, people would have just assumed it was us,” he said.
The business is right in the centre of George Town, between Rackam’s bar and Casanova restaurant, overlooking the wreck of the Cali. As with most dive businesses, tanks are stowed in rows outside the shop.
Anyone with information can call Cayman Diving on 916-8487 or send a message via their Facebook page. A $1,000 reward is on offer for information leading to the return of the tanks.