Armed men rob TV station

| 24/05/2012

_DEW1144.jpg(CNS): The Weststar customer service department at the local television centre in George Town has been held up by armed robbers in another daylight heist. The police confirmed Thursday afternoon that early reports indicated that three masked men entered the premises armed with guns, threatened staff and made off with a sum of cash at around 3pm. A spokesperson for the RCIPS said that officers are currently at the scene of the crime, which is off Eastern Avenue, and an investigation is now underway. No shots were fired and no one was injured. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

The TV station said the police are reviewing CCTV footage of the robbery at the payment office where officials from the company said staff had been trained to deal with such situations. “The most important thing is that everyone is safe. The staff are understandably shaken up, so we have brought in a counselor from the EAP to talk to them.,”Customer Care Manager Shayne Whittaker said in the wake of the robbery.

Category: Crime

Comments (57)

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  1. Caymanian and Counting says:

    I see a lot of comments telling people to report any information that they may have to the police and that if they don't its helping the criminals. Have you ever dealt with the police on this island?? Do you really feel that what you say is kept confidential?

    I don't know which officer you dealt with, but I've had the misfortune of having my property stolen. Let me tell you about my experience. When I reported the theft and made my statement the officers at the station flat out said, "Don't get your hopes up, it's already gone." They conducted no investigation over the next few days and every time I called asking what had been done I got the same response, "we'll send out a patrol." Not once did a police cruiser drive by, day or night.

    I ended up getting frustrated and conducted an investigation on my own asking neighbours what they had seen and piecing their statements together to determine where my property could potentially be located and who was responsible. I got confirmation of the name of the person who stole my property and the area he lives (Less than 3 minutes away from my house).

    I promptly called the station and informed them of this new development. Their response was "Oh him? Yes, we know him and several others with whom he hangs out. We'll send a patrol." Was one ever sent? Did they question anyone in the area? No. After another two days of calling and receiving the same response I decided to take the day off of work and stake out the area. Sure enough in the afternoon I saw a man matching the description of the person I was looking for and lo and behold; he had my property in his hand! casually walking around without a care in the world. He did not recognise me as he didn't even know I was the person from whom he stole.

    I casually walked by only receiving curious glances for being a new face in one of the seedier neighbourhoods of Cayman. It took every ounce of my self control not to attack the man and take back what was rightfully mine. As soon as I was out of hearing range I promptly dialled 911 and gave them the details of the situation, the area I was in, the name and description of the man, the description of the object in question and the officer's name who was assigned to the case. I was put on hold. I waited for 20 minutes for a response; none came. I wasn't until I told the 911 operator that I had enough and was going to take back what was mine and leave the police to clean upthe mess that they dispatched an officer.

    I met with the man and told him where the thief had gone. The moment the thief saw the officer coming his way in the cruiser he dropped my property and bolted into the bush. I walked up and simply proved that the object in question was mine to the officer. While this was going on the residents of the area had come out of their homes and started making excuses for the man, things such as "He bought it yesterday." And "He had no idea it was stolen."

    This, in and of itself, is not a problem. It was when the comments took a darker turn towards threats to me and my family, such as "We know where you live.", "You'd better let him go if you know what's good for you." and "I hope you sleep well tonight." followed by threatening hand signs that I expected the officer to at step. Instead, he stood aside and said nothing. Not one person was made to give a statement and not one move to apprehend the thief was made. I was left standing in an unfamiliar and unfriendly neighbourhood being threatened bodily harm and the police officer stood by with a confounded look on his face. I was even asked if I wanted to press charges… I didn't realise that was a choice to be made by the victim.

    I now have a full security system, Cameras and reinforced bars across my windows. However, I'm not happy that I need these precautions. This is Cayman; I should not have to make my own home a prison for my family and I and only pray that someone does not attempt to cause me harm. If someone were to attempt to follow through on those threats what could I do? Even when I call 911, their response time is abysmally slow. I've caught a person attempting to pick my front door lock at 2am in the morning and It's fortunate that I woke up to get a drink of water and heard them.

    It took the police 15 minutes to reach my house (I live 10 minutes jog from the nearest station) and by that point thankfully the would-be robber had run off when I turned on my front porch lights. The unsettling part of this is that several cars were parked in my driveway meaning the robbers were well aware that people were home. If someone wanted to hurt me they could easily break their way in, kill me and my family and be gone with minutes to spare before the police show up. I doubt the perpetrators would be caught as my confidence in the investigative skills and the crime scene evidence collection has been severely shaken not to mention their significantly less than stellar track record. My only consolation would be if I were somehow able to haunt my killer.

    This is not the Cayman in which I was born. This is not the Cayman in which I grew up. This is not the Cayman I love so much. The current state of these islands is heart breaking. The fear I feel for my family never used to be part of everyday life, the knowledge that I am mostly powerless in the face of the mounting frequency of serious crimes and that I or someone I love may be a victim. This needs to stop and I will die before I let my beautiful islands be destroyed by a few corrupt elements.

    Our politicians should be ashamed of themselves, regardless of political party or affiliation. They have all contributed to this situation with their greed and cowardice. There should be no such thing as a career politician in the Cayman Islands, we are much too small. The salaries are disproportionately high for the "work" they do and they pad their pockets at the expense of all be a select few. Even the wealthy are getting feeling the effects of the corruption and are leaving in droves. I can't begin to imagine what those who are poverty stricken are experiencing. Cayman is in a sad state and the future is looking bleak. The most unfortunate part of all this, is that this is the bed made by our own country men and now we must lie in it for not stopping them when things were easier.

    I will not give up even if I haveto clean up these islands one criminal at a time.

  2. CrimeStop.GCM says:

    Well folks one poster has come up with the ultimate solution to stop all this crime and robberies the next time you see or are being robbed you need to use the Queens English to tell them to stop robbing people because that will explain to them clearly your displeasure about their criminal behaviour. Seriously folks if that is all we needed the UK wouldn't be in the financial mess it is in and Cayman would be better off. This highly critical remark of another poster using Queens English remark betrays the posters identity and arrogance we frequently see here in these islands. Yet it does nothing to resolve or aid the oppressive state of crime in Cayman by those incharge of the RCIPS who speak the "Queens English" my case in point.

  3. Another Mouse says:

    102 Squre Miles.

    60,000 people.

    Over 400 police personel ….. and we have a runaway Crime problem.

    GROSS INCOMPETENCE !!

  4. Anonymous says:

    From story re: Minister charged with DUI

    "The circumstances surrounding the crash are being investigated,” the spokesperson added."

    Public not allowed to comment on story.

    From story re: Armed men rob TV station

    "and an investigation is now underway"

    Public allowed to post comments on this story.

    CNS, why are we allowed to comment on one story but not the other?

     

    CNS: No one has been arrested for the armed robbery. It is standard CNS practice to close the comment box after someone has been arrested and the court process has begun until there is a verdict or the case has been dropped by the crown. 

  5. Baines of our Existence says:

    As I was saying. Sorry, where were we again? Oh yes, repeat after me. Crime is down. Crime is down. There. That should do it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Is it a pattern that most crimes tend to take place on a Thursday??? #justsaying

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thought it was in their licence that they have to provide 4 free channels (originally 2 each between CITN and WestStar). The news on channel 27 is no longer airing freely isn't there something that government can do to fix that? Isn't that a breach in their licence?

    Sorry that the staff were held up at gunpoint.

    • Anonymous says:

      Channel 27 is still broadcast free over-the-air but the signal has been upgraded from analog to digital. If you have a digital television set (any TV bought new after Hurricane Ivan), you should have no problem seeing Cayman 27, however you may have to do a channel scan. If you have an analog TV set you will need a digital to analog converter.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well I wonder if WestStar will pay for me a new digital TV set because I certainly can't afford to, and wouldn't have needed to had they not 'upgraded'.  I still think it was a ploy to make us freeloaders pay!

        • anonymous says:

          Not a new set but it is my understanding that they will supply a converter so you can continue to use your old set.  I know they were doing this when they first converted dI do not know if they are still doing so.

      • Anonymous says:

        My TV purchased in 2010 and I've been cut off the free channels:(g

  8. Anonymous says:

    Criticise the Police?  How many out there have valuable information that would identify the culprits and don't pass it on? You know who is spending big when they normally have no cash but won't get involved. Crime is your resposibility as well as that of the Police.  Stand up an be counted, have some backbone!!

  9. Da Bracster says:

    No worries, two arrests will make you police disciples feel all is well. Only to have them bailed five days later with no charge and no evidence to support the arrest.Better make good of it because come November the human rights law will be in place and that little arrest “fool the public scam” is not going to wash.

  10. I b tink'n says:

    But WHERE did the TV station have their CAMERAS????????????

  11. I b tink'n says:

    Cayman is a circus to those criminals.  They sit back and roar with laughter as they watch the helicopter go up and the police drive around……………in the broad daylight!!!

     

    The policing authorities cannot control the crime in this country yet the un-disciplined people (aka udp) that try to govern our country want to increase the populaton in their "nation building" straegy.

     

    reaping what ones sows.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      curious how many hours that heliocopter been in the air searching for criminals, how much we have paid for that and how many perps have been caught as a result.

    • Anonymous says:

      I b tink'n – Thu, 05/24/2012 – 20:26 you are so right! The mere fact that such an idiotic idea would even cross their minds speaks volumes!! How stupid to even think that doubling the population in this coultry could do anything but add to already spiraling out of control social problems boggles the mind.  Injected ideas, such as this, by those who want to eventually rule this country, is what is destroying it but it seems that our so called leaders are so blinded that they cannot see! There are criminals of another nature also laughing at us.

  12. Cool Hand Detective says:

    Not one once of prevention and their response crime and robbery down they got that correct It is right down on top of us. With over 500 Police personel made up mostly of foreign nationals and with all they need and desire. Wey deh 2 top detectives deh?  Camera and Chopper. I am however please to report to you Cayman that aleast one of our ministers has now found out first hand exactly how much, his government who keeps touting that "their here for us". He seems to have forgotten that he too is subjected to the laws of land, but it aint nothing like being cut with your own sword you bought and paid for now is it….This police service is a national disgrace and its so call leadership. Intelligently aggressive dont make me laugh! Its so sad those who could have made a real difference are all gone now, we are now left with Mork and Mindy from the UK ,Ms Cleo and Claudie Massop from JA and Mandingo Orio from Barbados what a mess mann what a mess.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you spoke the Queen's English and made sense we would know what on earth you were talking about!!

    • Anonymous says:

      it is not just government fault it is they way parents look after and teach what is wrong and right to their kids! SOMEONE know who it did and please report to the police, if you don't then you are a criminal!

      • Define by intelligence says:

        Criminals are those who come to these shores and are paid for prancing around here talking about speaking the Queens English too many them here now doing absolutely nothing and getting paid very well for it! As for those talking about giving information their next excuse will be "We need Evidence" that takes you to a whole new dimension frought with all kinds of dangers and nasty little situations. Some obviously have not been paying attention lately where one of the RCIPS own Undercover officer's was exposed and is now suing them.That should be of great concern to us the wider public and in fact also a warning to anyone providing information to the Police of the obvious dangers of doing so, despite them constantly reassuring us about the confidentiality of our information. The question you should ask your self do you have any confidence from what you see happening in Cayman with RCIPS. If they cannot protect one of their own how the dickens are they going to protect you?

        Their lies our real problem and which like the corruption issue has been swept underneath the carpet to protect those in very high places.

  13. Anonymous says:

    CITN less than a week when you took away the free cable where poor people could watch the news and less than two weeks before hurracaine season. 

    Our goverment never even speak out about this and we are the ones who build CITN.  Shame on you CITN I don't feel sorry at all.

    my2cents

     

    • Agreed says:

      19:55 I agreewith you.  What a heartless thing to do the poor people when imagine most of the stations that people are paying for is pirated.  Woe unto such behavior.

      • Anon says:

        Actually none of the channels are pirated. That's why the fees are what they are… due to the need to pay distribution rights to Cayman.

        Please people, get your facts before you hate.

        WestStar is a business just like any other, and has operating costs just like any other. When channels are down due to technical issues, it's a personal matter and people can get very emotional, understandably.

        The upgrade to digital to analogue had to be done to transmit a watchable signal. Technology changes rapidly all around us – do people complain when they have to pay to buy a new mobile phone or iPad when technolgy changes and upgrades?

        Perspective and fairness is needed…

        WestStar doesn't cheat or steal, it just offers a service that isn't easy to offer… or else there would be dozens of cable companies here. When the majority of business and pricing decision are made for WestStar, they are done taking into account the fees WestStar has to pay to networks in the US or Central America to be allowed to air programming.

         

         

        • Anonymous says:

          Is that why, in the days when I had WestStar cable, I would often come across channels showing the DISH network information channel?  🙂

           

  14. Knot S Smart says:

    Yea. When I came home some of my channels are missing too…

    Cant get ShowTime cant get HBO cant get Cinemax…

    Maybe the robbers stole some of the tv signals thats why I cant get these channels…

    Anybody else missing channels?

  15. Spare the rod and spank the child. says:

    Well now that’s not very nice of them now is it? I hope they get put over their mamas knee and receive the spanking they so richly deserve.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Did someone DVR it?

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is not a funny situation!!  People were held at gunpoint and no matter what your opinion of WestStar is this is a serious, dangerous and scary situation.  The victims involved were just doing their job and your comments are totally unnessary!!  I would not wish this on anyone and shame on you for even thinking that way!  

  18. Anonymous says:

    It's Thursday evening. Was the Police helicoptor up.. The pattern is there ..Where are the Police?

    • Anonymous says:

      All over the place, and the helicopter and armed officers were there. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I was just asked in work today what my summer holiday plans were. I told them that I was headed to "Cayman". For the first time, in all my travels there, the reply was " Are you sure you will be safe?"  I have been asked that when I travelled to Jamaica and a few other places, but have never before been asked that when travelling to Grand Cayman.

      Word is out sadly enough. I did reply "I hope so, never had a problem before", but wow, I was shocked….well….sort of. I knew of the increase of incidents, but I never thought others who didn't travel as much as I do, did too.

      • lol!! says:

        19:55   If you are telling the truth then come on down.  Yea !! right.

        We are used to comments like yours, becaus 95% percent of them are just not telling the truth and have a grudge against the Island.  If you was sincere visitor you would not have written that.  Do you think we are a bunch of idiots here and cannot read between the lines of such comment as this,  Take your vacation and then talk about it after.  Yea right.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry 12:48, I was completely serious. I was not dissing your island. In fact, I love your island and have been coming there since 2000. I was just shocked that my co-worker asked me about my safety re. my upcoming trip.  I have also travelled to Jamaica a few times and believe it or not…did not have any issues w/ safety, but always get asked about crime/safety when I travel there.

          I will be down this summer. I am not changing my holiday plans, but my point was, as stated, that I was surprised that people were now commenting on the safety of Grand Cayman.

          And lastly, to be completely honest, crime has risen on your island since I first visited. I could invite you to my hometown and can tell you that the crime rate is not as high as what has been reported in your news. My local bank has not been recently robbed  or the local hotel etc. , but, I do not have a lovely beach to share with you.The surrounding city near me, well, not so nice. I do not believe people would question your safety if you visited here and if they did, I would be shocked……just as I was shocked about them questioning me about my safety re. my visit to GC. Do I think I will be safe while visiting your island? Yes, or I would not be visiting!!  Hope that clears up my post.

          ** BTW, I don't think you are an idiot. I think maybe you just misunderstood my post?!?

           

           

          • Twyla Vargas says:

            19:56 I have read your comments made to lol !! but I too have to agree with the writer.  We are just tired of the negative vibes given by some unknown persons  against the Island.  I only wish they would stop doing it.

            What I suggest, is than honest  to goodness decent foreigner who wants to visit Cayman Islands, or been here before should do, is probe coments.  Yes dig into any negative comments given to you.  When people make such coments, get to the bottom of why they are making these comments and you will eventually discover that there is a GRUDGE hiding somewhere in there.   To all those who live here, or want to live here or visit here or have good intentions to the Island, I would suggest probe negative comments.

            Yes I will agree, crime has risen in our island, but have you or any other foreign visitor ever sat and talked with the true Caymanians and asked them WHAT WENT WRONG"?  and what cause the surge in Crime?  Do that 19:56, and when you have gathered enough information fairly, then please come back and comment on the truth.  Just make sure the persons you are talking to are native born Caymanians who have seen this Island gone from good to an Island of Crime.

            Visitor,  You should have known  the Cayman Islands 40 years ago.  You would have looked to the stars and wonder if you had died and gone to heaven, it was that good and beautiful, believe me.

            Many times as I listen to the radio or read the news, I sit and wonder will it ever be like BACK THEN.  of course my answer is no, but guess what my suggestions are?:  each one of us, me you, and all our friends can MAKE A DIFFERENCE  and be an ambassador for The Cayman Islands.    Be positive about the Island, encourage people to take pride in  what they say and do here.  When my neighbours see me picking up trash or sweeping the government road in front of my gate they will want to do the same.  ITS CALLED WORKING TO GETHER FOR A BETTER CAYMAN.

            Please come and enjoy your holiday with your family, and enjoying that holiday means visit the natives and sit and have some talk with them.  Dont be afraid to visit our local spots, restaurants, beaches and sample local dishes and fruit juices.  Then write and tell me your experience.

            And if you can, please hop on the plane and visit the sister Islands too.  Wishing you and you family an enjoyable stay and hope you will come soon.  I am just an ordinary native who love my Island.

            • Caymanian by choice says:

              Thank you Twyla,

              But it is not only born Caymanians that feel that way.

            • Anonymous says:

              Twyla~ I fell in love with your island 12 yrs. ago because of the kindness of the locals during my first week there. I could not believe people could be so hospitable and that was not just at the hotels, but at the local spots along the way. The man who helped me when I was (believe it or not) lost in West Bay in my car as I was sightseeing. The people who stopped along West Shore Rd. during a heavy rain storm to offer me a ride as I was walking. The mom who was cooking over a pit for her family at the public beach and knew I could smell the good cooking and brought me over a dish of chicken, mac n cheese, rice n peas, along with salad and dessert. My brand new camera that remained in the same spot, untouched that I mistakenly left on a bench as I left for the airport and when I realized it missing, the taxi driver who returned me to the hotel free of charge to find the camera still there! Oh, the memories and the hospitality continues twelve years later and each trip I brag about these moments. I am an ambassador to your islands.

              My post on this board was of sadness/shock, not hatred. I wish crime was reversed to the level it was when I first started arriving on your shores. I have talked to many locals about the issues. I even have some answers and have made suggestions on this forum before. Everyone must work together, you have that right.

              I will be down soon and will enjoy my trip. Thank you for your kind words. Please know that I love your island, too, and although I tell everyone I go there for the beach, it's really the food that  makes me travel all those miles, but don't tell anyone! 🙂

              P.S. I will ask my co-worker on Tuesday (we have holiday on Monday) why she asked that- just out of curiousity to see how she answers.

            • Anonymous says:

              Ms. Tywla

              You completely misread the commenter as well.  They are just saying that the word is out that Cayman is unsafe.  That's it.  

              I wish people would stop saying that most of the commenters are not Caymanian.  Why should expats bother to comment here?  I think that most are Caymanians that are afraid to voice their opinions publicly.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Finally West Star feels what it's like to get robbed!

  20. Anonymous says:

    They rob me every month when I pay my overpriced bill. What comes around goes around I guess.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are they really robbing you or simply demanding payment for their service each  month?         If you choose to buy their product at the price they publish, then you should expect to pay the full amount each month, without accusing them of robbing you.  If they are padding their bills with hidden charges that is a different story.   
      Meanwhile, don't make such accusations without good reason.    

      • Anonymous says:

        They are demanding an unreasonable payment for a diabolical service each month.  Its mostly not their product, its mostly someone elses product that they pirated – illegal anywhere else but anything goes in Cayman it seems…

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you talking about? No one is holding a gun to your head, foo fool. If you don't like the price use an alternative provider.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is there an alternate cabletv provider here in Cayman? I'm not talking about dish network. I'm talking cable tv. If so, please let us know since you seem to have such knowledge….

    • Anonymous says:

      Congratulating harm on individuals shows what a true idiot you are!  One of the persons held at gunpoint was an 18 year old Caymanian.  Hope you are proud of that.

    • Anonymous says:

      they dont rob you muppet, you give them money.  dont like it? stop it!

    • been there done that says:

      you have a choice not to use thier service,but to glee or encourage armed robbery is very sick of you.you could be next idiot , thats my 1cents.

    • dont sell your hair to a wig shop says:

      "Don't get robbed at gunpoint while trying to pay your cable bill, switch to direct TV!"

  21. Anonymous says:

    Police are looking for posibble suspect that may have a grudge to bear… they intend to interview Weststar’s entire monopolized customer base of 23,000… the ICTA who Weststar wish to be subjected to a judicial review, the guy that thought he had a definitive share purchase for $80m but now hasn’t, and………..

  22. Anonymous says:

    News27 better start giving us CABLE news again. Cutting service off from the public through cable was a bad idea. Now, connected with Weststar, and guess what?  Weststar gets robbed.

  23. Anonymous says:

    what's happening cayman ? it was magnum then scotiabank then west star …….who is next ?

    any guesses…

    • Anonymous says:

      "it was magnum then scotiabank then west star …….who is next ?

      any guesses…"

      It's alphabeitcal! Yoshi or Z99, then! LOL.

      These scum just rob anyone so there's no pattern, but RCIPS, come on; it's EVERY Thursday & the last week or so of every month, you dumbasses; do something!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Let me see…it's Thursday and it's Gov't pay day…..the most likely day to rob right? SMDH