Friday, February 25, 2011

***CRIME ALERT*** Cayman Un-Kind

UPDATE:  The RCIPS has made significant progress in their investigation of the incident:

Bare Foot Beach suspects nabbed
Four men have been arrested and are in police custody following a police operation early Friday in East End.

Officers targeted a number of homes in the East End area Friday, and as a result of the operation, three men were arrested in connection with the Bare Foot Beach robbery on 7 February.….

Thank you RCIPS and to the person or persons who helped them.  You have our utmost respect and gratitude.

CaymanKind Indeed!
While I know the incidents and severity of criminal activity on Grand Cayman has been escalating at alarming levels, never did I think I would be impacted.  It would always be some other "foolish" tourist.  Well, now I am that foolish tourist.

During broad daylight, my wife and I were assaulted and robbed while enjoying a day of beach and snorkeling in one of our favorite spots on the island, Barefoot Beach. After another couple departed, we had the beach to ourselves.  Soon afterwards a group of three young men came down the path and walked towards us.  They spoke to us and we thought they were exchanging pleasantries.  We said hello and the next thing we knew the three of them surround us and one placed me in a headlock.  "This is a stick-up".  I'm thinking what the hell is going on here?  Then I see a pair of brass knuckles and another robber brandishes a mini-aluminium baseball bat.  "Give us your money!" Now it sinks in, "holy shit we are actually getting robbed!"

We ended up losing $20 and watching as they smashed the windshield on our rental car as they fled.  Turns out they broke into the car as well and stole my brand new underwater camera.

Needless to say I must warn any visitors about their safety at some of the off the beaten path spots described in this blog.  It will be a long time before we visit Barefoot Beach again.
A big thanks to:
  • The staff of the Reef Resort who helped us contact the police and went far above and beyond in accommodating us, even though we were not staying there.  
  • The RCIPS, who responded promptly and acted in a most professional manner.  I felt like we were in an episode of CSI with all the fingerprinting and DNA swabbing that was done.  
  • Also thanks to Robert at Thrifty Rental cars for getting us a new car in no time from across the island.  
All the above were appalled and shocked that something like this could happen on the East End.  A sad sign of the times on Grand Cayman.

Be Safe.


  1. Whats going on down there? Its sad, I cant believe Cayman has a crime problem. Not what I remember it to be....

  2. Times are a changing and not for the better of Cayman.

  3. Crime is seriously escalating here in Cayman. Gangs are getting more and more control over our community.
    It is NOT safe here anymore.
    Tourist are robbed and people are murdered on a daily basis, and corrupt police and politicians have no priority on solving these crimes.

  4. Tourist are robbed and people are murdered on a daily basis???
    Yes crime has increased. Yes the gangs need stamping on. No it is not acceptable and yes it is concerning and people should take common sense precautions. However your statement is a little melodramatic and serves no purpose.
    Visitors to cayman should take the sensible precautions they would anywhere else. Don't leave valuables in your car or on the beach. Don't walk alone at night, stay to well lit areas and be aware of your surrounding.

    I am so sorry for the victims of this horrible crime and I hope you manage to see the beauty in Cayman again.

  5. Wow, how horrible. Who would imagine this would happen in such a remote part of East End?
    Anonymous commenter #2 has seriously exaggerated the crime situation in the Cayman Islands. A problem indeed, but not nearly at that level.
    I hope the thugs are found. What a pity they ruined your adventure.

  6. so very sorry to hear that news......still believe Cayman is one of the safest islands with the most wonderful people, as I'm sure you still do. You find crime everywhere, and I think it's escalating everywhere.

    Not surprised that the Reef people were helpful despite your not staying there...they're a great group of people.

    Very sorry to hear about the underwater camera...that's one of the LAST things we'd want to loose.

  7. "Visitors to cayman should take the sensible precautions they would anywhere else. Don't leave valuables in your car or on the beach. Don't walk alone at night, stay to well lit areas and be aware of your surrounding" ---So basically I have to live the same way I do in the States, then why bother spending a lot of money to come to the Island. These visitors were out in DAYLIGHT. They were NOT walking along at night, they were not putting themselves in danger. We visitors pay a large sum to come to Cayman and if we always feel like we have to watch our backs, tourism will stop!! Such a disgrace!

  8. Oh I wish you were a martial arts tenth Dan black belt guy ! They would have got a shock ! sorry to hear that Testudo, its a real shame that the police tried to keep quiet about it.

  9. I am really sorry that this happened to one of our tourist. However, Grand Cayman or the Cayman Islands on a whole are one of the safest islands in the Caribbean compared to other islands. We are seeing an increase in criminal activity as is the rest of the world, because of the rise in unemployment along with other social and economic factors that is now rearing their ugly heads in this peaceful and still one of the friendliest countries in the world. However, everyday you can still walk the streets of Grand Cayman and be greeted with a smile from a Caymanian citizen. So yes, I am stressed as the visitors are about this incident, but these islands are still the safest to visit.
    I am sorry for your experience Testudo, please don't make this deter you and your family from visiting us again. We could do with some outside assistance from the United Kingdom but they are as useless as their tasteless teas when it comes to giving our country a hand. So we can only rely on what resources we have and the Governor who is in control of our security has hired one of the most inexperienced Police Commissioners in the history to try and help us. So unless you guys have some hard core retired cops that want to come and give us a hand please send have them contact the Govt. and apply for some jobs. Remember, we are still the safest, and the friendliest in the Caribbean and a place where many people want to relocate to and live and work.

    Come back again real soon. Thank you we are working to keep all our visitors safe.

  10. I'm not going anywhere. Just won't be going to some of my favorite spots on the island.

    Rationalizations for the reasons people commit crimes are completely understandable, but it is up to the society to determine what course it takes into the future. So far Cayman is a FAIL, but not a failure. Only you can change Cayman.

  11. STOP making excuses that it's OK for crime to be so out of control here. We were robbed on Saturday night as we slept in our bed. YES, the door was locked but still the thief was comfortable enough to enter our home and steal our computer while we slept less than 6 feet from him. Do you think he's worried about getting caught? I don't think so. The police, who were very nice and very professional, say it won't be recovered because there are customers waiting for computers, cell phones and flat screen TVs. Our place was not the only place that got robbed that night. They stole the flat screen TV from the other place. People say we are "lucky". Lucky it was just the computer. Lucky we didn't wake up. I don't feel lucky. I feel angry! Angry that every time I come back to Grand Cayman I read the same sorry stories in the "Cayman Compass" about what should be done while things get worse. So while the business leaders and politicians continue to wring there hands and mither on and on about what to do, I think potential visitors will do their homework and read articles like this and perhaps change travel plans. It really is sad, Tim Buc Tuu, East End, robbed; Caribbbean Club, Seven Mile Beach, newspaper photos of police with sub-machine gun locking down building while arresting man with a gun and now West End. Where does it end?

  12. Crime is and always will be prevalant no matter what as a society we do. Look at the shooting in AZ recently? Open public forum of decent law abiding people wanting to listen to a lawmaker talk & look at what happened.

    Society no matter what it does will still have an elemament that exists that does not care to follow & obey the law. History continues to repeat itself no matter what.

    We continue to travel and always will to areas that are magnificently beautiful such as G.C. and the Rivera Maya where we know safety it not a 100% assurance. However we use common sense in our travels.

    We can go to Las Vegas for example where you get a few blocks off the main strips & you are increasing your risk of facing an element of crime happening to you.

    The question of where does it end??? It will never end. Never has & never will. It is what it is & we just adjust to it.

  13. Some of the locals will pull their cars within an inch of your leg and try to run you over if you don't cross the street fast enough. I will not return here and cant imagine putting my money in a bank in this hokey country

  14. Not sure what the correlation between bad drivers and the banking system is. As a comparison, I work in a big city and find that both the drivers and banks in Cayman to be fine. I am actually more concerned about any holdings in US Banks than those on Cayman.

  15. No - the real truth is that the island is EXTREMELY infested with serious crime and violence.
    The British Govt would love to do something about it.
    Hard to do when the local island gov't is totally complicit and totally denies it.

    So easy to blame the Governor - but he's not at fault.

    Their real concern is Money and banks.
    They couldn't care less about the people.
    So they just hush it all up and deny the truth to the UK.

    I should know - I lived there under marshall law and watched the entire place break down.

    I've seen gang rape, gun battles in the hospital lobby, machine guns and worse.
    Looting and theft in broad daylight.
    There is NOTHING except PURE greed and darkness on this island.

    Someday they will be wiped from the face of the Earth...and good riddance.
    C'mon global warming.
    Of course, you have to post anonymously - else you'll disappear too.
    Like many others.

    This is not an exaggeration.
    It's the hidden reality there.
    Why do you think they hate John Grisham?
    Why do you think they didn't ask for help after Ivan.

    On the other hand - the little islands are still worth saving.
    So long Cayman, we hardly knew ye!

  16. I've never been to Cayman, but some talk as if crime is just rampant or is it that crime is uncommon and becoming more common? How does it compare to Chicago, Atlanta, or any other major U.S. city?

  17. Crime, while becoming more common, was almost unheard or at least publicized a few short years ago. It is not like it is some version of a fictional wild, wild west gun slinging town.

  18. My son's macbook was stolen from our locked car at Foster's grocery store on 7 mile beach last March. The police were wonderful and took it very seriously but I won't feel the same way about Cayman's in the future. I will return but I will not be in that vacation mode where you think nothing can happen. Be smart. Keep your guard up. Crime exists everywhere. The majority of Caymanians are honest and hardworking people, as alarmed about crime as you are.