October 28, 2020



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Gang threaten elderly couple in their house

Richard Barrow

Fed up after four robberies, Sam vowed yesterday to get a gun “and shoot ‘em in the gut. A gut shot is better ‘cause it hurts more.“

Angry, if composed, Sam, a bluff American, burly with thinning hair, said he grew up in New England, and this was only the latest burglary at his Magellan Quay home.

An armed gang threatened Sam and his wife at their home during a raid in the early hours of
yesterday morning.

“I’ve been here 18 years. This is the fourth time. We live at the end of the street. It’s a dark corner, tucked away here. No wonder we’re a target.” On one side, he said, was a neighbour he had not seen since “the hurricane”, a reference to 2004’s Hurricane Ivan, which devastated Grand Cayman, damaging approximately 80% of the buildings. Boards over the windows and garage indicate Sam’s neighbour is still absent.

“On the other side is another neighbour damaged in Ivan, and there’s a construction site. Not many people are around. It’s quiet. That’s why they come here,” he said.

The last straw came in the small hours of Thursday morning, when three masked men, dressed in black, one carrying a pistol, broke into Sam’s home and confronted his wife as she emerged from the bathroom.

“She hollered and that woke me. I grabbed my pickaxe,” Sam said, motioning as though he kept it next to the bed. “They took it off me though. They put a damn gun to my head and said ‘I want your money.’ ”

Sam declined to offer his surname, fearing it could mean more trouble. “They’ll pinpoint me,” he worried, declining to name his wife, calling her only “Emily”.

“They made her lie face down on the floor naked,” Sam said.

Calling it an ““aggravated burglary”, police yesterday said the incident occurred “about 2:30am.”

“The couple, who are in their 80s, awoke and disturbed three masked intruders. It would appear that one of the three suspects was in possession of what appeared to be a firearm; the intruders demanded cash from
the couple.

“One of the victims,” the report went on, “was able to activate the burglar alarm and the three intruders ran off from the house. It has not yet been established what has been stolen. The victims are not injured, but have been left shaken by the ordeal.”

No shots were fired, and while Sam declined to say how much money had been taken, he told iNews Cayman the thieves had removed computers and other electronics.

“They were here earlier, according to the cameras,” he said disputing the 2:30 claim and motioning toward the security scanner in the ceiling of the front porch.

“They wanted stuff they could sell. They were a bunch of drug addicts. They weren’t hungry and weren’t after rice and beans.”

Police confirmed that at least one previous burglary had taken place “at that location approximately two years ago. A man was arrested, has been charged and is now in prison serving his sentence.”

West Bay detectives, a spokeman said, were continuing to investigate, but the “only description available for the suspects at this time is that they all wore dark clothing and their faces were covered.”

RCIPS Area Commander Richard Barrow said police would step up patrols and improve lighting in
the area.

“When crime targets the most vulnerable in our society, it strikes right to the heart of the community. No one can fail to be appalled when they hear of the ordeal this elderly couple faced in the early hours of this morning,” Mr Barrow said.

“I have personally assured the victims that we will do everything we can to bring those responsible to justice and that we will be stepping up patrols in the area. I have also advised them that we will move to have lighting conditions in the area improved to mitigate
environmental vulnerabilities.”
At the same time, a patrol car responding to the incident was involved in a smash on Shedden Road near the main Jacques Scott store. No one was hurt, but the civilian driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

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