COPS UNDER PRESSURE…Twelve gun robberies in thirteen days, bike bandits behind nine attacks
– bike bandits account for nine attacks
With at least 12 recorded gunpoint robberies in 13 days, police have had their hands filled in keeping a lid on crime in the first 13 days of the year.
But from reports sent out to the media from the start of the year to yesterday, police appear to be fighting back, seizing some nine unlicensed firearms, and impounding at least three cars believed used in the commissioning of crimes, and detaining seal suspects.
From the statistics compiled by Kaieteur News, most of the robberies occurred in ‘A’ and ‘C’ Divisions. A relief for the lawmen is that there have been only two recorded murders so far.
But they have had to contend with a series of brazen robberies, of which at least nine were committed by gunmen on motorcycles.
On January 2, Kathryn Persico-Newton, 50, a teacher, had just left a commercial bank when two men on a motorcycle robbed her at gunpoint of some $1.2M in front of her Third Street, Alberttown home.
On January 6, Marcia Adams, 34, a cashier employed at Kamboat Restaurant, Herstelling, stepped out of a bus at Peter’s Hall, East Bank Demerara, where her husband was waiting, when a man on a white motor cycle rode up pointed gun and relieved her of a cell phone, bank card, and $35,000.
Three days later, gunmen on motorcycles struck twice in the space of three hours.
Debra Skeete, a 49-year-old dental surgeon, was held at gunpoint outside her Eccles, East Bank Demerara home. She had just left the Republic Bank branch, located on the public road at Diamond, East Bank Demerara.
The gunmen, who were on a motorcycle, robbed her of 60 Pounds Sterling, $25,000 in local currency, which were in a shoulder bag containing an iPhone, a Samsung galaxy phone, Republic Bank and GBTI cards, and national identification and NIS cards.
Police said that Dr. Skeete went to the Republic Bank at around 10:45 hrs, she deposited $25,000 in the ATM, then drove to Bounty Supermarket, located on the public road at Grove, East Bank Demerara.
Dr. Skeete then drove to her home located on the East Bank. She had just parked when two men on a motorcycle rode up to her. One of the men then went to the driver’s side and ordered the dental surgeon to hand over her bag.
When she hesitated, the robber drew a handgun, opened the car door and snatched the bag. He then escaped on the motorcycle with his accomplice.
Then, at around 13:45 hrs, a gunman on a motorbike struck in similar fashion at Mittelholzer Street, Festival City, robbing Whitfield Wright, 74, of $527,000 in his yard.
Police said that Wright had withdrawn the cash from a Scotiabank branch. He then drove to his Festival City home, and had entered his yard when a man, who was riding a motorcycle, held him at gunpoint and relieved him of an envelope containing the money. The attacker then escaped.
On that same day, an accountant attached to the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI), her taxi driver, and a supervisor attached to Prittipaul Singh Investment were victims of similar robberies.
Louren Thomas, 29, of Block 2 Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD) and taxi driver, Mark Horgobin of Duncan Street, Kitty, Georgetown were robbed of their phones and $20,000 cash around 20:30 hrs at Providence Housing Scheme by a lone gunman on a bike.
According to information received, the accountant left her work place in Horgobin’s taxi. While on Green Field Road, Providence, a male rode past the taxi and made a sudden stop in front of the car, forcing the driver to stop.
The biker then struck the taxi driver to the head with a gun then grabbed the victims’ valuables and escaped.
Also on January 9, sanitation workers Boodram Hemraj and Ramdin were at a worksite on Church Street, Georgetown when two armed men on a motorcycle without number plates, approached them.
The victims quickly handed over their grass-cutters when the pillion rider ordered his accomplice to shoot.
Meanwhile, that same day, 51-year-old Shafeek Azeez, a supervisor at Prittipaul Singh Investment was robbed of $40,000 at the entrance of his workplace, by two men on a CG motorcycle.
But police had some luck that day. Prompt response by ranks of the Sparendaam Police Station, resulted in the arrest of one of two motorcycle bandits who violently attacked and robbed a police rank of a gold chain valued at $ 220,000.
The policeman was conversing with a relative two men on a motorcycle rode up. The pillion gun-butted the policeman, snatched of his chain and rode off with his accomplice.
One of the suspects was arrested shortly after in Plaisance and positively identified.
Striking again on January, CG bandits with guns snatched almost $5 million in cash and other valuables from a woman they had trailed to Pere Street, Kitty.
The robbers also relieved their Perseverance, East Bank Demerara victim of a Samsung Galaxy S6 phone, a gold ankle band and documents, including her national ID and bank cards.
The gunmen had apparently followed their victim from the bank to her home, located at Light and Sixth Street, Alberttown.
Gunmen also used cars, suspected to have been stolen, in at least three robberies.
On January 6, two gunmen invaded the Hadfield Street Lodge home of customs broker Winston Gray, 61, and Veronica Griffith 61.
This bullet-riddled car was found at the back of Agricola after a robbery
Gray was awakened by one of the men, who slapped him.
The men made off with Gray’s licensed .32 pistol and 100 live rounds of ammunition; $50,000, $1M in jewellery and a cell phone.
They relieved Mrs. Griffith of a cell phone, $200,000 in jewellery and $65,000.
On January 9, Dominique Garraway, 21, was held at gunpoint at Crown and New Garden Streets. The bandit relieved Garraway of two gold bands, a pair of shades and $25,000 in cash. Police said the attacker escaped in a burgundy Toyota Allion which had the logo of a well-known taxi service.
On January 11, at around 10:25 hrs, bandits invaded the C&F Mall at Bagotstown, East Bank Demerara. They held
a 22 year old cashier at gunpoint, forcing her to hand over an undisclosed amount of cash. They then fled.
The cashier raised an alarm and the owner of the business, who was in a nearby office and is a licensed holder of a firearm, pursued the robbers, who were fleeing in a waiting car, through Water Street, Bagotstown.
The businessman discharged several rounds at the getaway car.
Investigators later impounded bullet-riddled vehicle that they found abandoned in the Agricola Backdam.
COPS FIGHTING BACK
But police appear to be making some progress in apprehending some of the perpetrators. They have also seized several illegal firearms.
Yesterday, they announced the arrest of two motorcycle bandits, including a Joint Services rank. The policemen also impounded a motorcycle, and seized an unlicensed firearm and several cell phones.
On January 11, police in ‘C’ Division arrested a suspect who had allegedly recently robbed several persons at knifepoint of their cellular phones on the East Coast Seawall. All of the stolen items have been recovered.
The alleged robber had served several prison terms for armed robbery, including attacks on victims near the Kingston seawalls.
Last week, police also detained a 58 year-old medical practitioner and her 22 year-old son after reportedly finding an unlicensed.380 pistol in their car.
On January 10, police found a .32 pistol with three rounds and a sub-machine gun with six rounds, and nine live rounds, while searching a house at Durban Street, Lodge.
Three female occupants were detained.
Also , during an intelligence led operation by ranks of the Force’s Narcotics Branch at Latchmie Street, Better Hope, ECD, police detained a 32-year-old taxi driver and his 34-year-old reputed wife who is a member of the Guyana Defence Force after an unlicensed 9mm pistol with seven (7) matching rounds was allegedly found in their house. A matching 9mm spent shell was also found in the yard.
Again on January 10, police found two unlicensed firearms in the bonnet of a hire car that GRA operatives had impounded since December 29, 2017. The vehicle was seized at Line Path, Skeldon, Berbice.
Also on January 10, ranks on a mobile arrested a 23 year old, unemployed male and allegedly found an unlicensed Taurus pistol with four live rounds was found in a house at Self Help Square, East Ruimveldt, Georgetown in which the suspect was hiding.