Robberies stir up concerns

| 04/06/2012

WestStar TV robbery Suspects cropped.jpg(CNS): With four robberies in one weekon Grand Cayman after what seemed to be a lull in one of the most problematic crimes for the local economy, the Chamber of Commerce has urged businesses to be extra vigilant. During a seven-day period four local businesses were robbed by masked armed men; three of the incidents happened in the middle of the day. Although police managed to apprehend one lone robber at a business in Bodden Town, the other perpetrators remain at large. The Chamber said it was concerned over the implications for the business community with the surge of robberies, which are not only bad for business but could have “dire consequences” for the entire community.

“The Chamber is concerned and deplores the recent upsurge of robberies within our community,” the business organisation said in a statement. “After a short period of reprieve local businesses are once again faced with the need to consider stricter security measures to protect their staff, property and assets. These types of crime not only have a direct effect on morale within the community, they also affect how we are viewed as a place to conduct business, invest and visit. We cannot tolerate this type of crime in the Cayman Islands without dire consequences.”

The Chamber encouraged all local businesses to work with the police but also to be extra vigilant throughout the working day and report any suspicious activity to the RCIPS or the Cayman Crime Stoppers 24 hour line on 800-TIPS.

The police are currently conducting an investigation into an armed robbery at the TV station’s WeststarTV customer service office, which occurred on the afternoon of 24 May when three masked men, two of whom were armed with what appeared to be guns, threatened staff and got away with several thousand dollars.  The men were caught on CCTV and the station has offered a $10,000 reward.

The RCIPS is also looking for a man armed with a knife, who was involved in one of two daylight robberies on Wednesday 30 May. The suspect was also caught on camera outside the convenience store in Walkers Road wearing a yellow cloth around his head.  Unarmed officers, however, bravely confronted and arrested an armed man as he attempted to flee an armed robbery at the Cashwiz pawn store in Bodden Town. On recovery the weapon was discovered to be an imitation gun and the man was arrested for robbery.

A third robber remains at large after a hold-up at the Texaco Gas station on Eastern Avenue at around 10pm on Thursday 31 May. So far police have failed to release descriptions or CCTV footage regarding the most recent heist.

In recent statistics released by the police the robberies reported for the first quarter of 2012 were down by 66% on those reported in 2011, an historically high year for robberies.

Category: Crime

Comments (17)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    no jobs mean more robbing we wont stop till our chasket drop next bank soon lol

  2. B.B.L. Brown says:

    Can  someone tell me why the security camera pictures aren't released immediately to aid in the capture of these criminals? 

  3. Anonymous says:

    The gas station that was robbed was right next to the TV station that got robbed. That's crazy. It's almost as if they know they will never be caught so they toy with the system. Best of luck to the police in catching someone, hope they do soon.

    • Agree says:

      And we are ALL being robbed by the Civil Servants who fill up their cars with Govt gas ($500,000 theft!!!)

  4. Truth says:

    Grand Cayman.  The NEW "Tortuga" of the Caribbean.  The character of any nation is a reflection of its Government and people which tells the quality and quantity of its population.  Can you tell what waits at the end of the path Caymanians have chosen?  Those who have reaped the benifits of the past will pay the bill with their future.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Not to mention the high rate of unemployment!

  6. Anonymous says:

    There is no reason why private security companies should not be issued with non-lethal weapons such as stun guns/tasers, batons and mace/pepper spray.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    Here's an idea: when there's a robbery, set up a road block on WB road and a road block on the bypass and maybe one on the way to East End. Stop and search all cars containing people who match the description of the robbers.  Better yet: check witnesses/ CCTV footage at the scene for a description of the getaway car.

  8. Anonymous says:

    These robbers are taking the money away from the people who maybe their family or their friend. The Banks have their funds covered but the people who walkin are losing more. Please look inside and see what you are doing.

    Thanks

  9. Anonymous says:

    Increasingly, local criminals are showing their disdain for the RCIPS

    And why not? 

    Simple The  police  patrol from inside their comfy cars where they insulate
    themselves from the neighborhoods, leaving the criminals many opportunities.
    Police patrols on foot or on bicycles would be far more effective.

    Shut down the expensive and useless air arm (the police helicopter) and use
    the money for more effective police patrol

  10. Nuff Respect says:

    Dont rob and steal Cayman because the Government hates competition!

  11. Anonymous says:

    What is outrageous is that in the Cayman Islands there are people living in fear from these home invasions, robberies and burglaries. The quality of life is being negatively impacted by these thieves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't worry, just put your name down on the list for one of the new apartments that Dart will soon be having us all living in. There has never been any sort of violent crime at Camana Bay now has there? Google CNU and you'll see the connection.

      Anyway, it's far too dangerous to be living in your own house with your own piece of land. You might be growing illegal food.

    • jsftbhaedrg says:

      The "Higher Ups" wouldn't know what you are talking about, have you seen Mac's house recently? He is completely insulated from his own district in his own little world, not to mention that he has only been on island a total of 30 days since taking office.

  12. Absurdistani says:

    Again, I call for the law to be changed to allow uniformed armed off-duty police to conduct private security duty at certain local businesses like banks, money-services businesses, gas stations and other high-value targets for criminals.

    This is widely practiced in the USA and is a win-win situation for all parties involved except the crooks.

    Pros:

    1. Police retain control of guns and personnel: The programme would be administered by the RCIPS which would set the rates and allocate the manpower and guns to members of the RCIP who volunteer and are approved for this duty.

    2. No incremental costs to RCIPS / Boosts RCIPS budget: The payments from local business to the RCIPS would take into account a fee for administration, man power, weapons maintenance, ammo etc. This could be administered by the Special Constabulary or administrators already working within the RCIPS. Incremental cost to the RCIPS = $0. A premium could also be added which could actually be a revenue stream for the RCIPS which could be re-directed to obtain the seemingly ever elusive resources that the RCIPS senior management is asking for.

    3. RCIPS staff can supplement their income: The ability to conduct this public security duty would be a privelege that individuals within the RCIPS would have to be approved for by the senior management of the RCIPS. Approved participants would be compensated for conducting this duty during their time off. This extra cash would also certainly boost morale within the service and hours for private security duty would be limited to ensure RCIPS officers get adequate rest time as to not interfere with their primary hours of duty.

    4. Increased public confidence and lower crime: By seeing more armed officers in high-value target businesses there would be increased public confidence that the RCIPS is taking crime seriously. Armed officers on the premises of these businesses would also reduce robberies since they would be a serious deterrent.

    5. Local businesses benefit: Their security budget can actually be used on effective preventative measures. Local businesses have tried to follow recommendations of the police and security firms. Local businesses have made investments in unarmed security guards, CCTV, alarm systems, security doors etc which have not proven to provide the level of security required for today's criminals.

    Based on the success of the programme it could be extended to other business such as night-clubs, shopping centres etc to further enhance public safety.

    It's time to get serious Cayman. MLAs please get this bill drafted and passed so that we can take our country back now!

    • michel says:

      I have to agree a lot with your comments. May I also suggest That a policemen be stationned at each class a bank on say Thursday and Friday with proper communication directly to armed task force. It sure would make many of us to the bank and would be a deterrent if done properly. Business crimes are more serious because not only to they stand to loose much but more endangered their customer so that it may stop them from from shopping there. I suggest that ALL security companies should have at least a few vehicules patrolling the street. And in closing if I may suggest that the RCIPS recruit smart good character informant and MAKE CERTAIN you keep them safe and in STRICT confidence. Word travel fast and there must be some credible persons out therw who are tired of all this nonsense.

      With all the daly stress, referemdum etc. we need to be focus on the referendum. I am for one man one vote and I ask you all one thing : Please make certain you vote (your concience) !. Your vote will make a difference if not for us, for that of our children and grand-children and future generations to come. We must participate.

      God Bless, Michel Lemay

  13. TT says:

    Robberies by thugs may be bad, but look at the robberies from government, the pension scheme, the high fees… now that is worst… that is very bad for businesses on the island. The Chamber of Commerce should acknowledge and deplore the way government is running small businesses down to the drain.