Robbers use stolen guns

| 18/08/2010

(CNS): The young men involved in the armed robbery at Mostyns gas station in Bodden Town used a weapon which had been stolen from a licensed holder, the police commissioner has said. The shotgun which was used to shoot at police in that incident was once legally held but had found its way into the hands of criminals. David Baines warned that the more legal firearms there are on the island the more likely it was that these weapons would become the target of the criminal element. Talking about the subject of the community arming itself in the face of rising crime at a public meeting, Baines said he was on record as not supporting the concept of the right to bear arms as it would increase the number of guns that criminals would try to steal. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

On Friday, 11 June, three masked men, one of whom was armed with a shotgun, entered the Esso gas station in Bodden Town and demanded cash. Officers in the area responded in time to see the suspect vehicle leaving the scene. Police chased the car, which was abandoned by the suspects, who escaped on foot after shooting at the police officers.
“Thankfully none of our officers, or any members of the public, were injured in this incident but the consequences could have been so much worse,” Superintendent Adrian Seales had said at the time. One teen has since been charged in connection with this crime for robbery and firearms offences.
Speaking at the first of a series of community meetings being held by the RCIPS on Monday evening in George Town, Baines said his officers were working very hard to take the guns off the street but if the number of licensed firearms was to increase beyond the limited number currently held by farmers and those involved in shooting as a sport, the more guns there would be in circulation for the criminals to try and take. He said that would result in even more serious criminal incidents such as the Bodden Town robbery.
The commissioner revealed that on each occasion where weapons are stolen from homes, it was a matter of days before the police are dealing with armed robberies where those once legally held guns were being used.
The issue of householders protecting themselves was a key issue at the meeting because of the significant increase in armed robberies and home invasions in recent times. A member of the public suggested the homeowner who shot and killed a burglar in his home last month had done more for law and order in one night than the RCIPS had done with its $60 million budget and some 300 officers over a whole year, and also suggested that not all the officers were pulling their weight. He went on to say it would be an outrage if the man who had shot Harryton Rivers, the intruder who entered the home in Liguinea Circle, George Town, was to be prosecuted.
The commissioner said that he would not comment on the particular case as it was with the legal department but he pointed out that people had a right to defend themselves and their properties provided they used reasonably force in the circumstances, and they would be expected to justify any force used in their defence.
Baines said that while their was a growing fear of crime, the RCIPS had achieved a considerable amount and they had managed to put a stop to the tit for tat gang shootings which had marred the second part of 2009 and the early part of 2010. He said that most of the trigger men now were either behind bars or had been killed.
However, the point was raised by audience members that the Cayman Islands is a very small jurisdiction with a limited number of criminals and the community was struggling to understand why with so many resources and officers the RCIPS could not tackle the problem.
Baines denied that his officers were not pulling their weight, and although he admitted there was some dead wood that needed to be cut, he defended those serving in the RCIP. He said the shift patterns had also been changed to ensure that more officers were available more often. He said that there were still a number of a vacancies and skill gaps within the service which included specific skilled personnel, such as scenes of crime officers, but recruitment was continuing.
The commissioner said over forty new recruits had been through the training system over the last year and that ten experienced officers had been recruited from overseas, with another ten expected on island shortly. Baines also revealed that six new police dogs trained in firearms detection had been purchased and they would be in Cayman shortly.   
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  1. Anonymous says:

    A firearm stolen from a legal owner is being used by the CoP to support his policy of denying law abiding citizens the means of protecting themselves.

    However, the fact that a firearm was stolen does not mean that firearms can not be own and kept securely. If it does, then the Police should not have firearms either, as just a ew years ago a firearm was stolen from a police officer while on duty.

    Criminals steal things that the can use, money, electronics, jewelry,or firearms. That’s what makes them criminals. It makes no difference to them who they steal from. If the CoP would be completely honest he would also state that the vast majority of gun crimes are committed with firearms smuggled into the country. Firearms which the RCIP has failed to intercept.

    I wonder if the grenades that were turned in were stolen from legal owners or smuggled in to the country……

    These diversion tactics are not going to work anymore. Try dealing with the real problem, viloent criminals not Law abiding citizens who own firearms.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If someone breaks into your house in the middle of the night with intent to rob and shoot if need be, all Mr Baines’ philosophy will be good for is drawing with white line around your dead body.

    Police are primarely a reactive force not a preventing force (This should be obvious to everyone by now), 99% of the time they cannot protect you during a crime.  So then WHO WILL and SHOULD?

  3. John Evans says:

    Anyone living in the UK, particularly those involved in sporting shooting or the firearms trade during the 1970s and 1980s, will be reading the CoP’s comments of firearms with a sense of deja vu!

    In those days the UK Home Office had a mantra that roughly went, "The only way to stop armed crime is to take away legally owned sporting firearms." They repeated it ad nauseum until the media and the public accepted it as the truth. They then used Dunblane as the lever to effectively shut down sporting pistol shooting and seriously impact other shooting sports in the UK.
    What happened next is well recorded history, armed crime rocketed (as one contributor points out above not necessarily their use in murders, but the use of firearms in general dramatically increased) and special units had to be set up to combat it. There are now far more armed officers on the streets of the UK and they are far more active than they were in 1997 when the handgun ban came into force. I understand one large police force is currently responding to an average of 10 armed incidents a day, when 20 years ago they might have 10 in a bad month.

    In 2001 (just four years after the handgun ban came into effect) the Centre for Defence Studies at Kings College in London, carried out research that found that the number of crimes in which a handgun was reported increased from 2,648 in 1997/98 to 3,685 in 1999/2000.
    The report also said there was no link between high levels of gun crime and areas where there were still high levels of lawful gun possession.

    Of the 20 police areas with the lowest number of legally held firearms, 10 had an above average level of gun crime. And of the 20 police areas with the highest levels of legally held guns only two had armed crime levels above the average.

    One of the factors that increased the use of firearms by criminals was probaly the huge amount of mindless publicity given to the alleged dangers of firearms ownership – it effectively made a handgun the ‘must have’ item for the up-coming gang member.

    Harsh reality of life – since the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe the world has been flooded with illegal firearms. When I was working that area of the world I saw Tokarov pistols being offered for $100 and AK47s for $250, both with spare mags and ammunition. The same suppliers had sniper rifles, RPGs and tons of plastic explosive available. I don’t doubt there are similar people now operating just south of Cayman in Cuba. If not there then Nicaragua, which is flooded with ex-Soviet weaponary.

    If the RCIPS and Customs can’t stop drugs flowing through the Cayman Islands they certainly can’t stop illegal firearms coming in so, given the choice, what do you think a criminal would do? Break in and steal a firearm or buy it?



  4. Anonymous says:

    What happend to "Thou shalt not kill"? I thought that Cayman was a "Christian" country.

  5. nauticalone says:

    Law abiding residents should not be denied or otherwise hindered from being able to legally pocess the means (including guns, but also mace, pepper spray and more) to protect themselves and families/friends at ones home…period!


  6. A Guy says:

    Oh for the love of god, this place needs guns like I need another hole in ma heed.

    If you want to live in a society where everyone has a gun "to protect themselves" then leave, B Bye!

    People whouse guns are big girls blouses anyway.


  7. Anonymous says:

    40 new recruits – 10 more coming.  More increases in crime.  Something does not add up.

  8. Sir Caustic says:

    More guns = more gun crime.

    • SoBe it says:

      What has happened to my once beautiful little islands? Crime starts at the top & has a trickle down effect. Corruption is rampant in these islands & we only learn from our superiors. We copy those in authority, simple. And if those in charge are making things even tougher for us, then it goes without saying that everything magnifies. Get the drift? "They" live like kings & queens while we live like paupers. Is that fair? Do "they" care? This lot is the very worse we have elected, & we can’t hold out their time (say what? 3 more years?), impossible!

      • Anonymous says:

        "crime starts at the top" …"They live like Kings and Queens"…."Do they Care"…"This lot is worst we have elected"…"and we can’t hold out"…

        I wish you would stop holding your hand out. What about you ?  almost without exception politicans… and want to be politicans were successful before taking up public office…and I really wish they would stop the "hand out" policy and  finally convince people that it only by accepting one reality and working to change it that things will become better.

        You begrudge them for the same reason you hired them (elected them).  For what they have, and have always gone after….Let me clear I’m not supporting any illegal/unethical behavior. But just stop and take some responsiblility …then quickly make some adjustments.

        Stop blaming them for being successful…and it is surely a thankless job most days. I’m sure….You believe them one day…then have no faith them the next.  You give them the job or they got the job over your choice…and you down crying them down..discouraging them.

        How in the world can this be helpful. Spend the time helping yourself !



    • Anonymous says:

      "More guns = More gun crime" 

      On Grand Cayman I believe it reasonable to assume that Guns are atleast held by Private individuals legally, Private individuals illegally, Police officers, and Private security officers. I don’t know if there are any other groups or sub groups i.e. Police officers that have guns illegally but it’s not necessary to confirm that to make the point.

      Your point of more guns = more gun crime is true. But crimes are committed by criminals who obtain guns illegally, or by an individual from one of the groups that I mentioned that by their actions are now ….criminals.

      So i believe the simplified equation is "criminals with guns = gun crimes"

      Remove all the legal guns on the island. Crimimals will still get guns the way they have always done it….ready for it……"illegally" and atleast one of the groups will continue to be a source.

      Legal guns are already being policed. If the stolen weapon was not reported then we should look at the individual. If it was reported then I congratulate the police for retreving it….Just wished they had solved that crime, rather than blaming the victim (legal owner).

      Sure if business places had no money the criminals would never try and rob them. Do we tell the business place it’s their fault for having money on hand ?


  9. Anonymous says:

    Thats ok RCIPS officers if a legal or illegal firearm doesnt kill you the new shift pattern will!

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow six more dogs to add to the other how many do they have now????? RCIPS has had a K9 Unit for the past 10 years, they spent over 100,000 from the UK to bring in dogs (which they got ripped off), so here we go again.  The K9’s aren’t even cared for.  This is where Animal Control should have gotten involved, from being left in their cages with no excercise to having heartworms.  So hence 6 more dogs to suffer. 

  10. gunny solution says:

    My comment to the poster at 9:19!

    Since the criminals have the AK 47 and you are advocating protection by pistol which wins an AK -47 or a pistol.  Seems as it will only start an arms race with the criminal upgrading there weapons to the high power catagory.  You only have to look to our East to see what little use a handgun will serve when men draw down on you with AK 47 at that point you might have wished that you sufficed with letting them pistol whip you with a lugar and take your money rather then having to counter with a AR 15 with attached rocket propelled fragment gernade laucher.  Needless to say, I have live in a society with free access to guns and have personally almost been shot twice.  Once I was in a living room and someone accidentally discharged a 22 which ricocheted off the floor tiles and went into the wall about 5 feet from where I sat which caused a tauras 9 mm to be drawn and a heated argument ensued no one was shot thankfully. The secound time was when I was 14 and a reckless associate got access to a gun (legal) and decided he was going to spin the barrell and pull the trigger..lucky the gun did not discharge and it was pointed in the air.  I have witnessed and had to take cover from 1 drive by shooting where HPRs where the call of the day (thank god they had a pool where I secured cover. 


    I can keep going on about guns being drawn during traffic disputes and used to commit suicides but I think you get the picture..


    Say No to Guns


    Ladies and Gentlemen…this is the State of Union "This is the USA" is that  what we want…Think Jamaica wait till you see Cayman with Free Guns..The USA is nearly a Police State and they are serious about Crime and the police can tell you where to use the bathroom if they feel like..


  11. Anonymous says:

    Of course he’s against the right to bear arms. He’s from England. Same place that tried to deny the American colonies right to self defense (and taxed the hell out of them,)

    • Macman says:

      I honestly think this is one of the most stupid comments I have ever seen posted on CNS

  12. Kent says:

    Mr. Baines needs to understand that the public has lost confidence in the abilities of the police, namely those in decision making capacities.  We have lost confidence in the police’s ability to do much more than write speeding tickets.  Your motto that I see on the side of the police cars is "We care, We Listen and We Act" because of the lack of "Action" and the inability of the leadership to "Listen" I an truly questioning if you "Care". 

    The citizens of Cayman, along with those that reside and do business here are simply in awe of the RCIP’s inability to get a handle on the situation.  You can feather your hats all you want, you can cite a couple examples of times when officers stumbled upon a crime in action.  The truth is that "WE" don’t trust "YOU".  "WE" need you to "Care" enough to think out side of the little box that you seem to be looking into for answers, "Listen" to what we are suggesting as solutions as yours simply are not working, and "Act" with authority on the real problems, not the guy that is doing 36 mph on South Sound road.

    I want to end by saluting those in the ranks that get it, and attempt to do what they can with what they have to work with.


    • Kent says:

      I ask Mr. Baines and the so called "honorable" members of the government.  If thepolice are a reactive force typically, and the criminals are armed, what are the private citizens to do when we are invaded?  Are we to call the police and wait 30 min or more for a response.  Only to give a discription that goes something like this"5’10"-6’0" male of medium to dark complection, medium build wearing a dark colored clothes, running shoes, hooded jacket speaking with a Cayman/Jamacian accent, last seen fleeing on foot into the bush…  meanwhile, the security of home or work has been stripped from any of the innocent victims, and they fear the night or anyone that reminds them of the night they questioned "if this is IT!" 

      What are we to do? You sit behind a badge, a private security detail… You deny us the ability to protect ourselves with "firearms" yet the criminals have firearms.  You give us no solutions, except to say back in jolly old England we don’t have guns.  Guess what, THIS ISN’T JOLLY OLD ENGLAND! 

      You can not ask us to sit back and be passive victims!  You can not ask us to defend ourselves by using only our hand against guns or the threat of guns.  If you will not allow us to have guns and fight fire with fire, give us a chance with less than lethal weapons, like pepper spray, tazers…  How is my wife to protect my children or herself when I am not around? 

      Mr. Baines can you support less than lethal weapons?  Honorable ministers, how can you oppose allowing the citizens and residents of this island to defend themselve?  Do something and do it now, that is what we are paying each and everyone of you for.  Do not forget that fact!


      Kent McTaggart

  13. Richard Wadd says:

     EVERY Country that has ever "dis-armed" Law-abiding citizens, has ONLY seen an explosive increase in the levels of crime (especially Gun-related crimes).

    …… INCLUDING the UK !!



    • Macman says:

      You are wrong! The incident of crimes committed with various types of knives has increased dramatically in the UK not gun crimes.

      This totally contradicts the efforts of "cowboys: like your self advocating relaxation of gun laws.


    • Anonymous says:

      I do not necessarily object to licensed gun ownership but it is false to state that there is always a direct relationship between strict gun laws and higher murder rates, or vice versa that lax gun laws reduce homicides.  

      The UK has fairly strict gun laws, yet in 2008-2009 it recorded only 689 homicides out of a population of 61.8 million – a rate of 0.01 per thousand of the population. 

      According to a November, 2009 article in the New Yorker magazine "the United States has the highest homicide rate of any affluent democracy, nearly four times that of France and the United Kingdom, and six times that of Germany" (all of which have far stricter gun laws).

      Read more:

      It also appears that the opposite conclusion is drawn by U.S. lawmakers to rising gun crime

      The only exception that I can think of is Switzerland and there may be other factors at play there.  

      • Anonymous says:

        What do you think you are doing?????????

        How dare you back up your comments with facts and reasoned arguements :0)

  14. Anonymous says:

    "The shot gun used to shoot at police was once legally held but found "it’s" way in to the hands of criminals".

    These guns just seems to be taking on a "life" of their own. Next thing you know the guns will want to get status.

    Criminals do what criminals do….steal stuff, money, personal property… including guns.

    Criminals will always be able to get guns.

    But my question is how do you soppose that criminals know that a law abiding citizen has a gun.

    The only person who has that information is the police. There are only a few Gun Owners who actually put the information out there..but most are private.

    So my suggestion if for the police to stop making legal guns an issue. They are putting it out there. They are the one’s making a case for a criminal to find a gun from a law abiding citizen.

    Focus on the Criminal, they are one that are not playing by the rules.




    • My2cents says:

      "But my question is how do you soppose that criminals know that a law abiding citizen has a gun."

      I used to put a small notice in a window of my house to say I am a licenced firearms owner. I never got robbed.


    • Cayman Parrot says:

      how do you soppose that criminals know that a law abiding citizen has a gun

      probably the same way that everyone usually knows who is having an affair with who.

      Everyone in Cayman seems to know everyone else’s business.

      • Anonymous says:

        I repeat it’s a small society, so yes you are going to get "wind" of few indiscreations. My point is that the keepers of the "list" is not doing a good job of keeping the list private. Especially now that they are attempting to remove the guns from people who hold them legally.

        Gun owners expect to be policed and dare I say it…protected by the police as well. We just believe that law abiding citizens have the right to protect themselves and to enjoy the rights of living in this society. My vote is yes to continue having the right to own a gun….and if you demonstrate that you are responsbile as well…I hope to see you on the range.. we can talk about technique and what ever else ails this society.



  15. Anonymous says:

    I ask the question, How many persons with legal firearms have had their firearm stolen? Then I Must ask How many legally owned AK47’s have been stolen from permit holders? Many of the firearms in use to day have been brought to our shores by way of canoes or through the ports properly concealed.

    The criteria of having a  firearms permit now a days include a residence check to ensure that the applicant has a proper safe tosecure the firearm. I don’t advocate for an armed society but I do feel persons should be able to acquire a firearm for home and self protection, providing they are competent to handle the firearem they are applying for.

    I do not believe high powered rifles have any place for home or self protection unless you are in the military or Law enforcement and, it is evident that some of the firearms used in senseless killings or drive-by shooting in the past have been high powered firearms.

    I am sure if and when the police have confiscated some of these firearms used in these robberies or killings and the background is checked it would have originated from other countries. This Commissioner seem to want to take the firearms from law abiding citizens, but I say take it out of the Criminals hands first then Law abiding citizens can relinquish theirs.



  16. My2cents says:

    Thats just one point in favour of Baines argument.

    What about the number of robberies and house break-ins that might have been deterred if the robbers suspected the owners were armed?