Two men allegedly swindle beach visitors out of cash and one businessman bristles stating these types of crimes could ruin Cayman’s tourism product. Calico’s bar and grill owner Handel Whittaker recalls the incident vividly.
“Two individuals took our menus and pose as employees, preceded to take food and drink orders then demanded cash upfront from customers which they gave them their money, the individuals took their money and took off,” he said.
He said the perpetrators may be doing more harm than they realize.
“Some of the feedback that I have received from customers, it has really put a bad taste in their mouth and some would go as far as saying they will never come back here,” he said.
Last week, police said officers had responded to a number of reports of thefts from beaches, but Mr. Whittaker said he wants to see more of them.
“It is time now that the appropriate authorities take control. In all honesty on a daily basis, we have reports of people cell phones being stolen, handbags being stolen and this has been going on now for the last five years.”
Mr. Whittaker believes the culprits were minors and George Town lawmaker Kenneth Bryan said he believes there are several reasons why young people may turn to crime.
“I think we are seeing such a high raise in young persons involved in criminality particular that related by financial means, by theft or burglaries, this is because the education system has failed for a number of years now and if it didn’t fail many workplaces are not taking the opportunities to give them a chance,” said Mr. Bryan.
We reached out to the RCIPS on the issue. They sent us the following, “The RCIPS is aware of the issue of thefts on beaches and multiple arrests have been made in recent weeks in relation to such thefts. With regards to any complaints coming directly from Mr. Whittaker, owner of Calico Jacks, we have only found one report made by him concerning a theft on 3 July.” Mr. Whittaker said that he has filed many reports to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. Police said they are running proactive operations and patrols to address this issue.