Feb 23, 2009 News
Bartica robbery spree…
– girlfriend, other woman detained
Lorenzo De Freitas, the fourth bandit from the gang that had terrorized Barticians in recent weeks, died from injuries some hours after being captured by Brazilians at Arimu Backdam.
Some reports said that De Freitas succumbed from gunshot injuries, which he sustained while fleeing during Saturday’s shootout, in which three of his associates were killed.
However, other reports suggest that he was badly beaten.
Police officials also said that two women, who were with De Freitas, are in custody at the Bartica Police Station. One of the women operates a shop in the interior.
It is unclear whether the slain bandit’s body has been transported from the interior.
Kaieteur News had reported in Sunday’s edition that De Freitas, along with his girlfriend, was captured by Brazilian miners some hours after the shootout.
According to report, the miners tied up the suspect and informed the police about his capture.
Kaieteur News understands that after receiving this information, a Joint Services team, led by a police inspector, headed for the area.
Efforts by Kaieteur News to solicit a comment about the circumstances of De Freitas’ death were unsuccessful.
However, this newspaper understands that De Freitas also resided at Bartica and had a criminal record. One Bartica resident said that he was “bad since school-days.”
According to one report, he was convicted some years ago in French Guiana and was also recently released from the Mazaruni Prison.
At around 02:30 hrs on Saturday, a Joint Services team killed gang members Dwayne Marks, 25, called “Bully” of Bartica; Antwan Smith, 35, called “Deportee” of Linden; and Gavin Gray, 27, called “Sweet Eyes” of Bartica, after tracking them to Cuyuni.
Police allege that the men had opened fire on the ranks who were walking along a trail.
A police rank, identified as Lance Corporal 16834 Issacs, was wounded in the right forearm.
A police statement said that Dwayne Marks was before the court on charges of discharging a loaded firearm with intent, break and enter and larceny and simple larceny, for which he was on bail.
According to the statement, he was also a suspect in the murder of gas station owner Brandis Roberts of Parika, who was found in his home with marks of violence to his body on November 30, 2008.
Antwan Smith was also before the court on a charge of robbery under arms and was on bail.
A police statement said that the Joint Services recovered two .38 revolvers and eight rounds of ammunition, and a .32 pistol with six matching rounds from the slain men.
The ranks also recovered an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) that was stolen from Brazilian miner, Osmar Oliveira Da Silva, who was shot in the left leg at Arimu Backdam on February 18, 2009.
In addition, a resident of Bartica who was the victim of an armed robbery at Mongrippa Hill, Bartica on February 02, 2009 identified a cell phone found on the body of Gavin Gray as his property, police said.
The scene in Bartica over the past weekend resembled that of the aftermath of the massacre of 12 persons around the same time last year. However, while last year the overwhelming feeling was one of fear and shock, this time it is more of relief and disbelief.
Two of the bandits killed last Saturday were from Bartica and many continued to express surprise that at least one of them, Gavin Gray, called ‘Sweet Eye’, was among the bandits.
According to one resident, Gray was well-liked and was a very good truck driver.
The resident said that as far as she is aware, Gray had no criminal record.
Yesterday, there was still a heavy Joint Services presence in the area, and according to a source the lock-ups at the Bartica Police Station is full.
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