Bandits meticulously combed an Alberttown house to unearth a whopping $4M in the latest armed robbery to hit the capital city.
The bandits, who were carrying two guns and a knife, had attacked the Fourth Street home of a city pharmacy proprietor and held his four children at gunpoint while ransacking the property, which is located just a block away from the Alberttown Police Station, around 21:15 hours on Wednesday.
One of the men had pretended to be a business associate of the businessman in order to gain entry to the upstairs apartment, where the victims were watching television.
Recalling the ordeal, Mark Persaud, the eldest of the businessman’s children, told this newspaper that he and his three younger siblings were at home when he heard someone calling their father’s name.
Their father and mother were not at home at the time.
The young Persaud said that although the man had his hands behind his back and his face almost covered with his cap, he did not suspect that a robbery was about to occur, since the man spoke to him in a normal manner.
“My dad has a pharmacy and the man told me that he had bought some medication for his wife and he needed to speak to my dad about it.
I told him my dad was not at home and he asked me what time he will be home,” the young man told this newspaper.
He said that before he could have replied, the man pointed a gun to his chest and ordered him inside while warning him not to make a sound.
Persaud was unaware that the bandit had two accomplices in the yard and it was not until they had already barged into the house that he realised what was really happening.
“If I had noticed them (two other bandits) before, I would have shut the door quick,” he explained.
The three bandits then ordered Persaud, his younger brother and two sisters to lie on the floor, and Persaud said that except for the bandit who had spoken to him earlier, he could not see the faces of the two other bandits since he could not raise his head.
However, he knew that the men were ransacking the house searching for valuables.
“These men had gloves, so like they were prepared to do this. They put us on the ground and demanded money. They knew we had money, so they kept searching and searching,” Persaud said.
By this time the men were getting frustrated, having searched unsuccessfully for several minutes.
Persaud recounted that one of the men started to squeeze his sister’s hands causing her much discomfort, prompting him to beg the bandits not to harm anyone.
“I told them to take whatever they need and leave us, but you could see that they were getting frustrated because they were shouting.
They turned up the TV volume so that no one could hear and they kept screaming, ‘where de damn money?’” Persaud recalled.
But just when the men were about to leave empty-handed, one of them urged his colleagues to make “one more search”.
It was during the final search that they raised up a mattress and found a briefcase that contained about $4M in cash.
“They grabbed the money and to me it looked like a set up because they knew we had money home…after one of them came out with the money, he asked me why was I lying. He hit me; he gun-butted me in the head, and they just sneak out the house and went downstairs as if they were my friends,” Persaud recalled.
According to Persaud, he knew the money was there but, “I wasn’t giving them anything. I kept denying it.”
“When they found it I said that this was the end of my life,” he recalled.
Persaud said that he waited until the men were in the yard before he got up and bolted the door, fearing that the men might return and hold them hostage if they did encounter problems in their getaway.
The bandits had also carted off hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of electrical equipment and computer games.
Persaud said that throughout the entire ordeal his terrified siblings cried.
“I was even crying non-stop. I didn’t know what to do. I panicked. I mean with a gun to my chest, I just begged them not to do us anything. I was thinking about my brother and sisters.”
The young man said that the bandits had plugged out the telephone and had it not been for some luck that his cellular phone was left behind, he would not have been able to contact anyone for assistance.
He subsequently contacted his parents who in turn notified the police.
But up to late yesterday, no one had been arrested.
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