Tourists stranded after passports stolen

| 03/02/2020 | 87 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): A couple visiting from Canada are now stuck on Grand Cayman after their passports, as well as many other valuable items, were stolen from the trunk of a car at Spotts Beach last week. Victoria Ark told CNS that they are now on the island with limited cash until the Canadian government can get them emergency travel documents. As well as the monetary value of the stolen items and the inconvenience of being stranded, the robbers also took phones that included photos with all of their vacation memories.

Ark said that at around midday on Thursday, 30 January, she and her husband, Arthur, and two friends were at Spotts Beach. There were other visitors at the beach as well, she said.

They had a number of valuable items with them as they were spending the day travelling around the island, but they had locked them in the trunk. The four of them spent some time on the beach, occasionally going to the car to grab some items before heading back down.

“After some swimming and beach walking, my husband went back to the car, opened the trunk and noticed most of our bags and items missing,” Ark said. “He went to the front of the car and realised the passenger window had been smashed.”

They called the police and filed a report, but since then they have not received any information or news of any leads.

As well as the two Canadian passports, the robbers took two wallets with IDs, credit cards, debit cards and cash, a Huawei P30 phone and a Huawei P30 Pro phone, a DJI Mavic Air Drone, an LG G6 phone, a Go Pro Hero 7 Black, an Insta360 One X (camera), two adult full-body wetsuits (black/orange and black/pink), one adult 3mm swim shirt (black/pink writing), a backpack full of clothing and a bunch of other miscellaneous items, a large grey and white dufflebag containing a number of items such as goggles, sunscreen, clothing and a black Canada baseball cap.

UPDATE: Victoria and Arthur Ark arrived in Canada Tuesday night, 4 February, after receiving their emergency travel documents.

Victoria Ark said, “We did hear back from the police, stating that the fingerprints investigation did not turn up any suspects and the CCTV cameras could not provide useful footage. They said they will keep an eye out at local pawn shops and on social media. We are still hoping somebody can turn up something.”

If anyone has any information about the stolen items, they can contact the Arks on 1-780-201-8679.

Anonymous tips can be provided directly to the RCIPS via their Confidential Tip Line at 949-7777, or via thier website. Tips can also be submitted anonymously via the Miami-based call centre of Crime Stoppers at 800-8477(TIPS), or online.

See images similar to the stolen items below:


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Category: Crime

Comments (87)

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  1. V. Ark says:

    Hello,

    An update from myself, Mrs. Ark;

    We have gotten home to Canada after a few days of dealing with the local consulate to get our travel documents. Still no word of any of our items being found.

    Other than this robbery, we had a great time during our stay. The earthquake was a bit scary, but the fact that damage/injuries were minor (almost non-existent) speaks to the awesome building codes on the island.

    To answer some of the comments, we had the valuables in our trunk due to the earthquake causing us some paranoia about leaving our items in our rental apartment after sinkholes happened nearby, and we were travelling across the island that day. Before the earthquake, we never carried our passports or other wallet items on us. Also, many of the valuables (camera equipment) were being used that day for our plans. Everything was secured in the trunk and in various bags, towels, etc. I will admit, we did let our guard down due to feeling safe on the island, and in retrospect could have taken even further precautions. As for targeting, I believe we were targeted, because our friends left their valuables out on the back seat of the vehicle in plain sight, and their items were not touched. The thieves clearly knew that they were going for the trunk.

    We did attempt to trace our phones, but the must have thieves turned them off instantly because we had no way to trace them with Find My Device and other apps we tried. We blacklisted the phones through our phone company so they cannot be used for anything other than parts at this point.

    Crime happens all over the world, even in our hometown. I don’t blame Grand Cayman as a whole, I blame the people who committed the crime.

    I do want to thank all the kind people of Grand Cayman who reached out to us to offer help in multiple ways. It was very touching to receive these offers and responses from strangers. I will not forget the generosity and kindness we were shown during this event, and despite everything we will still recommend the island to anyone for travel. The reality is that Grand Cayman is quite safe, and we just happened to have all the unfortunate factors add up that led to this robbery. We are grateful to have our health, safety and to have the people who took care of us during this tough time.

  2. Anonymous says:

    All that money paid to the Security Centre for these CCTV cameras and they have never been useful in identifying anyone or assisting in solving any crime.

    Poor tourist got knocked down on the pedestrian crossing and they can’t track the moments of the car in question?
    Bostock owes Government a refund.

    With the Spotts Beach crime, someone knows something. This is looking bad on Cayman as a prime Caribbean destination.
    Hope they find them but with RCIP history of solving crimes, I doubt it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Police have never solved anything yet. they are about as helpful as tits on a bull.
    been there!

  4. Anonymous says:

    RCIPS – here’s a thought. It sounds like a targeted robbery so why not trace the route they took to Spotts and try to figure out who might have seen them loading that lot into the car. Not rocket science is it?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dog eating yah suppah! Bunch of donkeys in charge on these islands.

  6. Thomas H Birmingham says:

    I live in Coralbay adjacent to spotts. Some sticky fingered bastard has been breaking into our cars here for a while. Stole 500 from me (i know, i forgot it in my car). I know he is on foot, or else he would have taken the heavier more valuable items from me.

  7. Anonymous says:

    In theory, any of the three Android phones should be “findable” with Android Device Manager. They just need to be signed in on phone and owner can locate them using any web browser, but they’d need data roaming in Cayman for that. If they were were just using wifi, they’d need to activate data on their Canadian telecom home plan, and telepathically project a signal to the bad guys to reboot their stolen phones for them so that they can be caught. That’s harder to do.

  8. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Are our Canadian friends still here? Did they get their replacement travel documents? Where are they staying? I would be willing to help in any way that I could, for the sake of friendship and tourism. CIG should bend over backward to try to accommodate them in whatever they need. I contribute tax (duty) dollars. I want them used in this way. We should do everything possible to mitigate this horrible experience.

    • Anonymous says:

      Any information on this? I do know a group of us want to help.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        I have not been able to find out anything beyond this story.

        CNS, is there a contact for these people, or information as to their current status?

        CNS:
        I’ll add a note if I hear anything. Any major developments and I’ll write a new story.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The most disturbing bit of this story is the claim that the victims are yet to hear back from the RCIPS.

    The red carpet should have been rolled out for these visitors and assistance provided re passports, accommodation, etc.

    This is precisely the behavior I would expect of my island nation.
    However, considering the changes at play in respect to makeup of personnel, the response is not very surprising.

    • Anonymous says:

      Red carpet?
      How about a visitor who was under so much stress that she committed suicide? Law abiding professional woman who wasn’t even in physical possession of bullets and your country and your comments were ready to crucify her. All forgotten?

      • Anonymous says:

        Unfortunately for you and your pathetic response; the only person responsible for a suicide is the deceased.

        Stay classy though.

        • Anonymous says:

          Here comes true nature of Cayman Kind.

          That poor woman was on a cruise. Her suitcases were never in her possession.

          • Anonymous says:

            Would have been illegal on the cruise under US Law. So not a good excuse.

          • Anonymous says:

            It would have been had Customs not found the gun. And her Wisconsin concealed carry permit isn’t legal in Florida either, so she was breaking the law there too. Oh, and US federal law by not declaring the firearm in her hold baggage in the first place. But lets just brush over the facts and blame it all on Cayman. Sure. Or. we could have an expectation that when people go on vacation they leave their guns at home – not a difficult concept, is it?

      • Anonymous says:

        That is sad mental health cautionary tale. As a CCL, she was delusional to redirect one of her handguns to the Cayman Islands, having received fundamental training “that local state and country laws vary”, and knowing her obligation to check and take appropriate precautions if traveling. She did it anyways, perhaps assuming her USA Republican Party connections, and racism empathizers, might insulate her in the foreign country incident she was anticipating. It was a bad call. On the family side, perhaps there were other signs that perhaps she shouldn’t have had access to a weapons collection?!? The Cayman Islands didn’t cause her delusion, paranoia, or fixation on arming for her own internal struggles, and we didn’t volunteer her embarrassing story to US media outlets.

        • BeaumontZodecloun says:

          SHE didn’t redirect her baggage here, the airlines did, and then we cheerfully prosecuted (and persecuted) her for it. That singular move ruined her life with the threat of imprisonment.

          She should have been given a pass, since she did not smuggle nor create the situation that resulted in her registered firearm being present in the Cayman Islands.

          • Anonymous says:

            Absolutely right. She should have been prosecuted under US law for smuggling the firearm in hold baggage without declaring it, and for having it in Florida without a valid Florida licence on arrival. And whats this tosh about persecuting? Enforcing the law is persecution now, or is it only persecution when you are a US national, because the laws don’t apply to you. Not much of a persecution either – look how we routinely let US tourists off with a $1000 fine for forgetting ammunition or weapons in their luggage. Hell, she even got bail so she could skip court if she wanted to – don’t think we would have been extraditing her.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you BZ.

        • Anonymous says:

          8:49 you are the one who needs mental help, asap. So much anger, indifference to human life, xenophobia, judgement etc.
          And you don’t even know what really happened.

  10. Anonymous says:

    if its the car pictured, it doesn’t seem like things of value would be in the car. Seems someone was watching them from the onset of leaving home when packing the car or when they took them out to put them in the trunk when arriving at the beach. Tourists need to also be aware that not every place is safe.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thats bold, but glad nobody was hurt.

    Even if switched off, Lime and Digicel should be able to use tower triangulation to pinpoint the location of those cell phones, leading cops to the treasure/crack den. Department of Public Safety Communications spent millions last year upgrading 43 of 50 CCTV cameras last year. Never in the right place, or pointed in the right direction, it seems. These should be at all the public beaches! If any personal items are recovered, DoT should pay the full costs to deliver these back to the victims on Air Canada or Westjet, or better yet, write them a cheque.

    • Anonymous says:

      They can also disable the phone using the EMEI number. Trouble is local cellphone providers refuse to assist. They refused to help me locate or shut down my phone when it was stolen from my apartment two years ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      My vehicle was stolen less than 100 feet away from a gov CCTV tower and guess who tracked it down and found it? Not the police, but a friend of mine! I’ve installed GPS trackers on every vehicle of mine since, including the motorcycle.

      • Anonymous says:

        My car was hit and run with paint from other vehicle swapped onto mine. Police spent 2 weeks reviewing CCTV looking for the description of MY parked damaged car, not the inflicting perps. That’s how bad the detective and transcription work is here. Good luck everyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:07 what about a CCTV on your back yard too.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Now this is the kind of sh** that makes me want to scream.

    Listen Cayman, we MUST ensure that crime doesnot get out of our hands. Do not be fooled. There are many other places in the world with sandy beaches, great diving, ‘friendly’ people and natural adventures to experience and much, much cheaper to visit. As a Caymanian, I have have been to many of these places in the world.

    However, the one thing that admittedly these same places do not have a hell of alot of is this – a sense of safety and security.

    Let’s not become so complacent and think our ‘ Tourism Industry’ can’t fail if the truly one thing that sets as a part from many destinations ‘A FEEL OF A SENSE OF SAFETY AND SECURITY’ fails.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, welcome to Cayman! This is embarassing!

  14. Anonymous says:

    The Spott’s Beach car-park is often packed to capacity with zero space , easy pickings of rental cars also , now that rentals are emblazoned with rental-car company stickers and new license plates. I would imagine they were cased out by the thieves sitting in another vehicle. Sadly no CCTV camera there, might be time to install one , or place a security guard detail there daily at peak times. CIG- time to play catch up with the times and implement measures to protect visitors & locals from our professional career vagrants.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Should the govt not reach out and help these tourists? Or we as people that depend on tourists should we just sit back?? These people need our help. Imagine if this happen to one of us in Miami??

    Come on Alden reach out and help these people. What a horrible experience.

    And no you wont hear back from the police.

    • Anonymous says:

      1. leaving so many valuable things in the trunk was not prudent.
      2. trip advisor goes extra mile to convince future visitors that Cayman is safe, you can leave car keys in ignition
      3. if stolen items were purchased recently, some credit cards might reimburse the cost.
      4. Hotels/condos/car rentals should advise visitors not to store valuables in car trunks
      5. RCIPS should do their job, Premier his. Don’t copy Trump’s putting his nose where it doesn’t belong.
      6. finding cell phones these days should not be a problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually on the Trip Advisor Cayman forum, visitors are repeatedly reminded to lock their vehicles. So not sure where you are getting number 2 from.

        In this case, locking the vehicle didn’t even help!

        Embarrassing for our island.

        • Anonymous says:

          Currently on TA they are asking to describe Cayman and the responses include very safe and friendliest people. Tourists read this and feel they are going to paradise where they can let their guard down. No mention of any crime or you need to be cautious.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:50 many CAYMANIANS have been ROB in MIAMI what was the outcome!

  16. ~s3k says:

    Unna fools broke Rule #1: Tourists shall not be harmed or robbed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rob and harm Cayman heroes like Derek Haines for example.

      What a mentality you have.

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re a fool too if you think robbery will just go away completely overnight.

        At least leave the tourists alone, simple.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why are people still leaving valuables in cars????

    • Anonymous says:

      But if you leave the bags on the beach those are stolen too!

    • Anonymous says:

      Because they are tourists and they think its ok in the Cayman Islands. How many times you go abroad shopping and leave valuables in your car?

    • Gray Matter says:

      Common Sense: who wrote this. WHERE THE HELL DO YOU EXPECT THEM TO LEAVE IT. It was not sitting in the back or front seat for all to see and entice hoodlums, THEY WERE LOCKED IN THE TRUNK OF THE CAR.

  18. Niels says:

    Not the first time. MR Harris- when so we get CCTV in that area and especially on this parking lot???

  19. Anonymous says:

    They must have a terrible impression of Cayman now, they definitely won’t be back…

  20. Anonymous says:

    free tip for the police:
    the perps were not american, canadian, european or asian.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t know who did! Criminals take vacations too!. But a racist like you would have to imply that it was a Caymanian that committed this crime. I said it before and i’ll say it again If you don’t like Caymanians go back to your crap country. We must have done something right to make Cayman so attractive to you.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with 9:54 and I’m Caymanian. The majority of crimes committed here are committed by our own. The truth hurt bobo.

      • Anonymous says:

        12.13….If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then it’s not racist to call it a duck.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        Take it easy. Caymanian here, not that it should matter. Look, when we look at those convicted for violent crimes — rape, home invasion, murder — most of them are Caymanians.

        You telling people you disagree with to “go back to your crap country” is really low. It’s as though you are saying that nobody has the right to speak truth about the Cayman Islands unless they are Caymanian. Well, here we are. Speaking the truth. It’s a sad truth, and perhaps one that can be mitigated in the future. We have local gangs. We have Caymanian thugs and criminals.

        I don’t like it any better than you do, but denial isn’t going to change anything.

        • Anonymous says:

          Doubt your Caymanian but no way to prove that. There are Jamaicans, Filipinos, Americans and yes Canadian nationals in Northward Prison for rape, murder, drugs and theft! I wonder how they got there if they didn’t commite a crime?…. but whenever any crime is committed everyone assumes it had to be a Caymanian. Just saying these people who make these comments don’t ever think it could be one of their own who could commit a crime. And if it is a Caymanian I hope he/she is punished to the fullest extent of the law.

          Just saying don’t point the finger until the facts come out.

  21. Anonymous says:

    this cannot be allowed to happen…the police should make this their priority and if they find who did it….they need to beat them severely

  22. Caymankind says:

    CaymanKind

  23. Anonymous says:

    Why not leave most of that stuff at the hotel? I see no reason to have a passport on me unless I’m flying.

  24. Anonymous says:

    absolutely outrageous!! words cannot express…

  25. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Kind

  26. Anonymous says:

    Bastards!

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      I walk a lot, and carry a smile and a small stick — either a cane or a walking stick if I’m going a distance. I am up in years. If someone threatens me, I will give them my wallet and whatever else they want. It’s just stuff.

      If I am ever attacked, I will break bones if I can, and fight with all the muscle memory and training that I can bring to bear.

      They are bastards, and they deserve a reckoning.

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