Oct 26, 2012 News
– driver warns colleagues to be on the lookout
A route 41 minibus driver is urging his colleagues to be on the lookout for a three-man gang that has been robbing South Ruimveldt-bound minibuses, especially during the late night rush period.
Cyril Adams, who has been in the public transportation business for decades, became the latest victim of the gang, when he and his passengers were robbed at gunpoint just after 22:00 hours on Tuesday.
Recalling the incident, Adams said that the three men entered his bus at the Stabroek Market Bus Park, but at the time they just appeared to be normal passengers although a tout had hinted to the conductor to pay attention to them.
The men sat at the back of the bus, sizing up the passengers, especially those who were inclined to use their expensive cellular phones.
As the bus was proceeding east along Norton Street heading to South Ruimveldt, one of the passengers who was busy with her BlackBerry, requested to be let off,
The men sensing the opportunity to grab her cell phone also decided to come off at the said stop.
According to Adams, as soon as they got out of the bus, one of the bandits dealt the woman several slaps to her face, and snatched her cellular phone from her in the process.
The men were brutal, for as the woman fell to the ground, two of them began kicking her about her body as she screamed for help.
The rest of the passengers sat transfixed at what was occurring before their eyes and it was the conductor, who happened to be Adams’ son, who tried to intervene, after not seeing the men carrying any weapon; he was wrong.
“He see dem kicking de woman and he tried to help, but one ah dem pull out a gun and gun butt he to he head. When he fall down dey start kick he too,” said Adams who added that the men had already taken away the conductor’s money.
In the meantime, the passengers began screaming at Adams to drive, fearing that the bandits would turn on them eventually. But the driver was in no mind to drive away and leave his son (the conductor).
Eventually, Adams himself got out of the bus and confronted one of the bandits who was unarmed.
He was getting the better of the bandit before the man’s accomplice with the gun came to his rescue.
The bus driver was dealt a lash to his head by the gunman and he was forced to back off.
And just as it was feared, the bandits turned their attention to the other passengers in the bus, relieving a few of them of their valuables.
“De one with de gun go to dem passengers and start saying ‘leh me see wha you gat’. Dey tek way about three people cell phone. De passengers at de back keep cussing ‘why you don’t drive de f…ing bus?’” Adams explained.
Apparently satisfied, the bandits made good their escape, while Adams proceeded to the East La Penitence police station to report the matter.
He had to deal with some angry passengers who only got angrier when they arrived at the station to find the gates locked.
Several minutes later they were let in and further compounding their anger was the wait for almost an hour for a detective to arrive.
Eventually, Adams took the initiative to drop off each of his remaining passengers to their individual homes.
He is advising his fellow bus operators to be on the lookout for suspicious characters entering their vehicles at nights.
“Most of them come in and sit down at the back, sizing up everybody in the bus. Some of them even come in and demand that the interior lights be switched off. We have to pay more attention to these kinds of people,” Adams advised.
The matter is under investigation.
Within the past few days, several minibus operators and their passengers have been robbed, but some of the incidents have gone unreported.
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