New Year’s Day jewel heist

| 01/01/2014

(CNS) Updated Thursday: Four suspects, all aged between 22 and 32, have been arrested in connection with a jewellery store hold-up in downtown George Town at around 8:30am New Year's Day while at least two cruise ships were already in port. Police say a search of the area turned up a quantity of jewellery and a firearm a short distance from the store, Diamonds Intentional on North Church Street. Police say the suspects were caught thanks to the actions of Police Commissioner David Baines and several members of the public who assisted without a second  thought for their own safety. A fifth man, aged 48,  who has been arrested on suspicion of theft, is not believed to have been involved in the robbery but entered the store after the crime had taken place and grabbed some jewellery, which has now also been recovered. 

It is understood that shots were fired during the incident. However, police have said that no one was injured as a result of the shooting, though one of the suspects is in hospital following an incident which occurred during his arrest. Unconfirmed sources tell CNS that the robber was struck by a car that was driven by the police commissioner after he drove his car into the getaway vehicle to stop the suspects fleeing the scene.

The police confirmed that members of the public as well as Commissioner Baines and other police officers were involved in arresting the various suspects but they have given no details regarding how the fourth suspect was hurt.

Commenting on his involvement in a release from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Baines played down his own part and heaped praise on the members of the public who came forward to assist.

"I did my job; it’s as simple as that," he said. "I only did what I would expect any officer of the RCIPS to do. However, today once again demonstrated the great community spirit in the Cayman Islands and the selfless acts we see time and time again where members of the public step forward to stand up for what is right. Without the brave actions of those exceptional  people today, we may not have effected such quick arrests in connection with this crime."

The management of Diamonds International told CNS that they would like to acknowledge the bravery of the commissioner and all those involved in the arrest of the suspects.

Detectives are asking anyone who may have been in the area or who has any information about the crime to call  949-7777 or 800-TIPS to remain anonymous.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Curiously no one has seemingly noticed the anomaly of awarding a civilian honour to a member of a uniformed service. Can anyone identify a precedent of an active member of the security forces receiving a civilian award such as OBE, MBE, etc? If it were felt that Commissioner Baines deserved a royal award what happend to QPM (Queens Police Medal), the appropriate award in such cases? 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to the Commish and the Taxi drivers.  Job well done. 

    Commish, your OBE should come with a new Hummer decked out with a shiny grill at the front, a hitch on the back and a 007 plate. 

    Every taxi driver should be allowed to carry a bucket of tar and a bag of feathers with some good strong silver thatch rope to help the commish in future arrests.

    Excellent work everyone.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Criminals are Public Enemy number one. Traitors of this country and its people. No sympathy for them or their "reasons" .They have no mercy on their victims and care very little about this country regardless of where they come from.

    In many instances the so called "Human Rights" work against the "Right Humans", those of us that follow the laws, work hard for our salaries and comply with all good social behavior. In the meantime these thugs go all out, create havoc, terrorize the rest of us, knowing that even if they get caught, the odds are in favor they will come out again to do more of the same.

    Wonder what (if any) is the maximum punishment for treason to our nation. They will not be missed by many if they are gonne once and for all.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Why are so many people here giving Baines such praise? Are you his friends? Baines finally doing what he is being paid for. The fact is that had it not been for the local tour operators and others who, in my opinion, did a better job than Banes and the whole police department put together and Baines coincidently being in the area to pick-up friends, Baines would never have been heard of in this incident until after the fact.

    As for those of you who states that Baines put himself in harm’s way, again, this is what he signed up for when he accepted the job and he is not doing anything special. This should be the norm not the exception. Were the locals involved in apprehending these nuisances praised and presented with similar distinctions as Baines was? They should be as they played just as much if not more of a role in the apprehension of these criminals.

    Huge congratulations to those civilians who went above and beyond. Oh, and congratulations commissioner Baines on finally starting to do your job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous at 11:35, you are a disgrace.  Clearly you don't like Commissioner Baines but regardless you cannot dispute the fact that Mr. Baines did an outstanding job.  Mr. Baines himself actually agrees with you inasmuch as he said he was just doing his job, and he siad as much.  You either missed that or conveniently chose to ignore that fact.  He, like you, apportioned all the praise onto the civilians.  THe difference however, is that he did it in a dignified and appreciative manner. You did it solely to belittle Mr. Baines and continue to stir vitriol.  Everybody who does a good job in the course of doing their job is worthy of praise by those that they work for.  Mr. Baines works for the community and it is therfore wholly acceptable for him to receive praise for what he did.  Just like we would praise an airline pilot for handling a difficult situation in the course of doing their job, so too is it allowable to praise a police officer for doing their job in a difficult situation.  So, get off your high horse, put your hatred to one side and recognise a good job when it is done.  If more people would do that this place would be an even better place.  People like you though don't help, you merely hinder.  

    • Anonymous says:

      AT LAST, Baines has earned 1 hour's pay – man you have a LOT of time to make up!



    • Anonymous says:

      He's not paid to do the job one handed dumbass.  He's paid to lead, and that's what he has done for four years, and now he has shown his courage.  He also was very modest about what he did and paid respectful referenace and thansk to all those that helped him. 

      • Richard Wadd says:

        The only thing Baines has even done is to "Lead 'us' astray with his BS!

        We have one of the highest Police / Civillian ratios in the region, and yet we still wait for weeks & months to even get a Police Report!

        Useless rooster gets an OBE while other rank & file get sent to Northward for disarming known gangsters?

  5. Dred says:

    Come on Mr. B…Only one pinned under vehicle? A four man job and ONLY 1 injured by you? Come on you slackin dude. Next time do the job right will you. I want four under vehicle, extra points for tire marks on "suspects" and all four in hospital !!!

    Slackers!!! What we gonna do with them hugh???

  6. Anonymous says:

    They lucky it was not Rabe Welcome in the area to meet.

    So some idiot punk weilding a machette in public and gets a broken arm, Rabe lost his job to the same criminals he suposed to keep off the streets.

    Top cop runs over his suspect, and forgets to back over him again, he did a good job. Point being,  at the time of aprehending any weapon weilding criminal or insensitive criminal, you will not have time to judge just how much force or how you will react.

    If all the cops are being demoralized and feeling a sense of lost to the criminals, they will do as they continue to do, quit the force and move on to something easier to feed there families.

    Miss Reba, did you finish the cape for mr Baines as yet? He gonna need it now that the bainesmobile will need some working on.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a shame that procedural errors might let a violent criminal free to carry on his ways.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ They lucky it was not Rabe,

      Excellent point regarding Rabe Welcome. Why wasn’t Rabe presented withan OBE for injuring a criminal but, Baines was? Just goes to show it’s who you know.

      I am not condoning police brutality but, what is good for one should also be good for all and as another poster stated, during these and similar situations there is often only time to react and no time to think. Baines did just this but, in keeping with the above he should be charged with the use of excessive force as Rabe was but, in this case with a deadly weapon.

      • Diogenes says:

        "Just goes to show"….. that you know little about the Welcome incident, and have a slight problem understanding sequence.

        First, Baines got the OBE before the robbery, so the awards committee were either psychic or it had nothing to do with Baines arrest.  Second, Welcome broke the suspects arm AFTER he dropped the machete and was no longer resistng arrest or posing a threat.  Thats why he got charged.  Baines used force – reasonable or otherwise – against people known to be armed, who had discharged a firearm, and were fleeing an armed robbery, arguably posing a threat to passers by.  

        Bit different my friend, and nothing to do with "who you know".  But hey, don't let the facts get in the way of your prejudices. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Waiting to see if Baines is going to be charged with excess force or bad estimation.  He will probably get another award.  What the heck!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Answer…He is Caymanian!

      • Anny Omis says:

        Rabe is a common bully, and wannabe. There is nothing honourable in his behavior.

  7. Composted says:

    Well the “Social Climber in Chief” over on Crewe Road didn’t disappoint. Baines is the BEST and he got to speak to him on the telephone. Socially.

    Oh what joy.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I congratulate Commissioner Barnes on a job well done.

    An aspect of this crime that hs not been mentioned thus far is the incredible boldness of these robbers.

    Based upon the time and location of this crime it is troubling that these armed robbers had such a lack of concern for what this does to the image of cayman in the world's eyes.

    These men have no respect for Cayman.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well done to all who bravely assisted with the apprehension of those thugs!

    Super job Commissioner Baines!

  10. Anonymous says:

    So I’m hearing sympathy for the assailants and maybe baines went over the call of duty on the social websites. Injured a caymanian that was having hard times? I say good on you Mr baines. Nationality is not important. You commit armed robbery. Expect severe conciquences

  11. Otherview says:

    In true Camanian Spirit…………Living in denial.           So sad.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I wish the police would explain properly what happened. From what they have released and the comments it sounds as if the commissioner stopped a suspect by running him over. That may or may not have been the right thing to do at the time but it doesn't sound particularly brave. What am I missing here?

    • Anonymous says:

      What a ridiculous comment.  Whatever the commissioner did, he was putting himself in harms way by chasing down a potentially armed and dangerous thug.   If the alleged robber had no reason to run, he shouldnt have ran. 

      We are all lucky and innocent clerk or bystander didnt get shot to death.   What are you, related to this person?  

    • Anonymous says:

      I think what you are missing is they were armed and, I believe, bullets tend to be able to penetrate cars.

    • Anonymous says:

      I too am please to hear that we were sucessful in apprehending these [suspects], let's see what the courts do now… I said "we" because the public was involved and happy to see that those took disregard for their lives and assisted in arresting these [suspects].

      A point I would like to bring up is a case of transperancy and fairness if you would like to say. 

      Just the other day, an off duty officer had to fight his case before the courts with regards to use of excessive force in relation to a matter that took place at a gas station where an individual was armed with a machete.

      As a result of the incident where the person with the machete was injuryed, the off duty officer was suspended until the completion of the "investigation" and following that, the DPP decided to charge him and place the matter before the court.

      Here we have an off duty officer who used his vehicle in the apprehension of person(s) suspected to be involved in an Offence. 

      As previously stated, as a matter of transperancy and fairness, I want to see that all matters relating to this incident be investigated and be of his position ask that an independent service is used to carry that out.

      Carrying on with transperancy, may I suggest using a service in Canada. Dont come with the argument that their laws, policies etc are different, they are gathering the evidence without fear or favor and presenting it.

      This is one of the reasons why govt MUST put in place a separate and Independant department to investigate police matters…

      Do the right thing and bring a detective in…and to also show no interference, take a leave of absence until it's completed…you could use the rest. Oh and remember, use a country totally independent.

    • anonymous says:

      However the police put it out, I still believe that you will struggle to understand it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh oh! Here comes the human rights committee. I'm not worried how they ended up under Baines car as long as his vehicle didn't suffer too much damage. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Where I am glad "finally" someone stopped these criminals, the commissioner only did what HE IS PAID TO DO!!! Its a shame that the rest of the force isn't…as far as I am concerned it should be the public that a big fuss is being made, they risked their lives to stop these people, in which one had a gun.  Why is there not such a big deal for them?  Afterall he used his "car" as a weapon.  Is this legal? Where I think they all deserved more then that, that is using extreme force don't you think?  or can the general public now use their vehicles as weapons to protect themselves? LOL????

      Also the commissioner runs after armed person?  Isn't he trained not to put himself in that sort of position.  Why not follow them and call for back up?  Strange huh? He got put down the day before, the next day he is super cop going after armed robbers on his day off…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wow!  Mr.Baines, thank you so much for what you did on behalf of the Cayanian public and all who believe in law and order. That was one spectacular piece of police work you performed in feeling those three collars the way you did, including the one underneath your vehicle (hope it wasn't damaged). Great courage on your part and a fantastic example for your fellow officers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nah today Bo Bo! – this is exactly the kind of action we need from our police officers. Show these robbing punks we mean business! 


  14. Anonymous says:

    Baines, only able to stop crime happenning right in front of you

  15. Anonymous says:

    We should cut out all the dead weight in this police force. We just need a signal for Charles not today bobo ebanks and another for bad ass baines. Go get end crime fighting super heroes!

  16. Anonymous says:

    COP gets royal gong. Award is laughable because of reasons given vs perceived situation. COP foils dare ing daylight armed jewel heist. COP profile thus improved. (Ignoring boldness of robbers in first place.) – You couldn't make this stuff up.

  17. anonymous says:

    Where dey from?

  18. Anonymous says:

    This shows character of Mr Baines. He put US and his JOB before his own materialistic values.


    Well done.

  19. Anonymous says:

    "No one swings an SUV like Old Bainsey." 

    OBE = Order of the Batmobile Extraordinaire.

  20. Got2Bkiddingme says:

    So Baines just happened to arrange to meet his friends at the precise time and location of the heist???

    The conspiracy implications will have Whodatbees reeling!

    • bow n arrow says:

      @ 11:49 ,I just cant understand you people. Darn if you do and darn if you do not. When the police reached the scene late you complain. When they do a good job you say it was conspiracy. What the heck do you want, the ability to have something to complain about? I think the Commissioner and his men did a very good job and they should be congratulated. If they mess up we criticise them so when they do something good we should be proud of them. Do you think these men are superhumans just because they wear the uniform ofthe RCIPS. they are not angels and so are we . We all mess up at times. Is it everytime you please your employer? Ok. i thought you would answer no. There you go.


  21. Anonymous says:

    Eastwood, Kojak, Starsky, Tubbs & Crocket .. Now BAINES… Excellent work, Sir…& the RCIPS

  22. Foreign Devil says:

    Baines for MBE!

    • Anonymous says:

      I say promote him to Chief of Police!

    • Diogenes says:

      Already has an OBE – a higher level gong. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You get the MBE for being photographed in front of Miss Lassie's house, Baines actually did more than kiss up to Taylor.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Wow, after all the bad press that Mr. Baines received over his inclusion on the New Years Honours list, how convenient that he happened to be in the right place at the right time! I can just see all the conspiracy theorists having a field day with this one. Perhaps they will be saying that the robbers are just crisis actors and no one will ever be prosecuted. Laughable really. You can be sure that Mr. Baines will take this opportunity to weed out the criminal element from Cayman.

  24. Kadafe says:

    Wow I must say… I'm impressed! This took split second decision making and I'm happy to see that the commissioner threw himself head first into the situation to stop those robbers. And the taxi drivers!! Well well done! I hope that an reward will be given to you.. Let these wanna be thugs know that we are fed up with them running around stealing and terrorizing people who have to work so so hard for theirs.. Thank you to all involved today it took nerves of steel!


  25. Anonymous says:

    Ms Reba, maybe you could do a cape with "CoP, OBE" for our brave CoP who is truly an example of what we need in our police service. Bring back the UK officers and get rid of the other contracted officers.


    Thank you, Mr. Baines.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Haha you really couldn't  make this stuff up…..

    So after weeks of armed robberies, some shots fired and no clue who did it…on New Years Day, the very day after Mr Baines receives a New Years honour an armed robbery takes place in front of paying tourists no less, the police round up not only the robbers but the opportunists and Mr. Baines himself just happens to be in the area to ram a getaway car or suspect depending on who you believe.

    Amazing, truly amazing….

    Anyone have the number for Ripleys  Believe It or Not?

  27. Anonymous says:

    great take down commissioner. lmao. tha wa yuh get mr robber wannabe

  28. Anonymous says:

    To all. I was one of them to assist with catching of the thieves and a proud Caymanian regardless of the nationality of the thieves. I applaud the commissioner for his work this morning. The man was there to pickup friends off the ship and thank God they were coming here why he was there. That man attended the scene as if he was a setting hen protecting his chickens. That is why we able to assist him on apprehending them. Thanks Mr Baines. Also thanks to everyone who helped. That’s what you call unity. Thieves when you thinking about your nastiness don’t bring it to the waterfront. WE GOT EACH OTHER BACKS.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Lots of great photos on the Cayman 27 site if anyone is interested.    (probably not the first robbery for these thugs).

  30. Anonymous says:

    Not today bobo!!! 


  31. Anonymous says:

    You earned your Award Commissioner. Keep crashing these criminals plans with your SUV.  To the Tour Operators and Taxi Drivers; you more brave thanthe police force.  Thank you very much for chasing down the thieves.  Do you know which planet these thieves are from?


  32. Anonymous says:

    The police have nothing to do with convictions….

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm…yes they do. The police are the ones who handle the evidence. The evidence is what makes a conviction

    • Anonymous says:

      Except collecting the evidence  to convict them.

      Gee I guess thats our problem.

  33. WillYaListen! says:

    Well done Commissioner for running him over………….but bad marks for failing to reverse over him.

  34. Anonymous says:

    To the poster at 10:22. That one is a done deal. I was there and witnessed every step including helping apprehending them. Now that I sit and think about it. It was like a setting hen rushing someone to protect her chickens, the way the commissioner rushed in to stop the get away car. Go commissioner Baines. He must have said NOT TODAY BOBOS. LOL. That was what I call working together as a community. It makes me proud to be Caymanian regardless of what nationality did the crime.

  35. Logic says:

    Congratulations Commissioner Baines on a great job today – really proud of you.  I'm sure the ignoramuses that frequent this site will be writing something negative about it but just ignore that.  You once again led by example and we're lucky to have you here.  We look forward to many more years of outstanding leadership from you.  Happy New Year to you and your family.  

  36. Anonymous says:

    Good job Commissioner…. you earned that OBE with that act trust me!!

  37. Richard the Lion Hearted says:

    Hey! The Commish  had to earn his OBE.

  38. We need another hero says:

    Baines Rises! – Super Cop. This is his second “happen to be near incident” (for lack of a better term) catch. This man is on the job, literally. Thieves, we do have a crime fighter taking direct action, you’re going down. I’m very happy they were apprehended there and then, hands in the cookie jar too!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Good job Mr Baines… Lead from the front, you see you dont need a fire arm, all you have to do is run the robbers over.. Well done again RCIPS.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Any truth the Commissioner of Police arrested these guys himself?

  41. Anonymous says:

    I heard the police crashed their car into the getaway car, to prevent it from leaving?! Gettin' the job done! Well done police! 

  42. George Towner to dah bone says:

    I've heard that the Commissioner was in the area when the robbery took place and crashed his SUV into the get away vehicle, pinning it, while some good samaritans chased after the others and held them down until the police came out of their air condition office, and placed them under arrest. Kudos to the Commissioner and those good samaritans who assisted in apprehending these criminals. XXXX Great job Commisioner Baines!!!

  43. Anonymous says:

    Nothing about this story yet on Caycompost… all still sleeping off a champagne hangover it seems. 

  44. OnlyInCayman says:

    Great news for 14,000+ visitors to return home with the story of shots fired robbery.  What would you do with tourism dollars?  

  45. Anonymous says:

    Well done RCIPS. Maybe all the armchair critics need to have a large slice of humble pie for dinner tonight. 

  46. #Tiredofthesabotagingeconomy_CI says:

    Throw the book at them for 2014, they are sabotaging Cayman, Tourism, The Jewery store/owner. 

    Thank you RCIP!

    Wow New Years Day @ 8.30am; why was there an urgency to rob?

  47. Otherview says:

    This is a perfect example of why I never go, and never will go into George Town to shop, dine, 

    or do any banking as this place has become unpredictably dangerous. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You must be living somewhere in a cave.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely.  Many mocked the views that the only safe places were Camana Bay and the Ritz, but I hardly go anywhere else.

      • Anonymous says:

        Really? Sorry to hear that. You must be the life of the party!

      • Anny Omis says:

        If you only go to the Ritz and Camana Bay, then you’ve already been robbed and have nothing to worry about in GT.

    • Anny Omis says:

      Well then you had better not go to Prospect, West Bay, East End, North Side, Little Cayman, the Brac, the bank, the gas station, the bars, the roads, your home, the salon, the States, Europe, Jamaica, Antarctica, Honduras, Bora Bora or anywhere other than la-la-land.

      Or you’re just a troll from Camana Bay’s marketing dept.

    • Anonymous says:

      what you want us all at camana bay nah! go figures.

    • Anonymous says:


  48. Anonymous says:

    Good Job RCIP!!

    Happy New Year to you! Keep it coming… Police 1 Robbers 0 good way to start the 2014 and show them that there will be zero tolerance for robbing innocent people this year.

    Keep it up and God Bless.

    • Fishnin says:

      Get real. RCIPS operates a “catch and release” program.

      Pathetic how you all rush to congratulate them instantly, in spite of their dismal record in providing evidence that actually results in convictions.

      • Anonymous says:

        it's people like you why crime can't get solved because intead of helping you just sit on the side lines and criticize. XXXX

      • Anonymous says:

        I have noticed a general trend of the posters on here never being satisfied. So when the police don't catch the criminals everyone complains. When the police DO catch the criminals, some still find reason to complain. It's no win with some people I guess. It must be sad to live this way, always seeing the bad side of everything.

      • Anonymous says:

        Great point.  Sad but true.

      • anonymous says:

        Ok, when you apprehend some fugitives we will listen to you. Until then, you are on your own.

      • Foreign Devil says:


      • Anonymous says:

        I agree!!!! That the "Catch and Release" programme seems to have too many sizes of HOOKs that never hooks the right persons according to the many releases – evidence is too scarce to pin the person to his crime, and patterns  the song    "IT WAS'T ME!!!" .Does the police know that those persons that broke the Law, watch every move they make to beat whatever system is in place to nab these criminals.   Thes guys have great minds will out-smart them or any University Professor.

      • Anonymous says:

        FIshin is 100% right. Why so many thumbs down?

        • Anonymous says:

          The Cayman public are exceptionally easy to distract and confuse, with a very short attention span, which makes the dodge-and-deflect game of the policriminals so effective, but Caymanians don't like to be told about it.  I daresay I'll get a few thumbs-down myself here.