Feb 23, 2014 News
– bandits threatened to torch pump attendants
Prompt and strategic action by officers attached to ‘D’ Division of the Guyana Police Force was instrumental in the apprehension of five bandits mere hours after they carried out a daring heist on the ‘On the Go’ Gas Station at Nismes, West Bank Demerara, Friday night.
The bandits, all of whom are said to be in their 20s, were able to amass an undisclosed sum of cash, cellular phones and interestingly enough, several containers of ice-cream and a bread from the Gas Station’s mini-mart.
According to Pump attendant, Ameer Khan, he and another pump attendant, Seon Trotman, and a few other guys and one female were in the mini-mart of the gas station watching wrestling on television when the bandits struck.
Khan said that three of the men had earlier visited the gas station in a black car to purchase $500 of gasoline for the vehicle.
He recalled that the driver of the vehicle was slow in opening
the gas tank and was even slower in paying for the sale.
“He pay me with a $1,000 bill and I pull out the money I had in me pocket to give he change and I see that he look at the money I tek out, but me ain’t really tek it for nothing.”
He said that the men headed south along the West Bank Demerara road but appeared to pull over soon after leaving. Khan said that since neither he nor any of the others, in the mini-mart was suspicious of the men they all continued to watch wrestling.
It was about half an hour later that the men returned with two others, one of whom was armed with a gun, and another with a knife.
They ordered all those in the mini-mart to lie down. Khan said that one of the men proceeded to relieve him of the money he had in his pocket which he said amounted to about $50,000.
He said that some additional money was also taken.
“Them just walk in and say ‘nobody don’t move’, and them hold on put one ah them big man with me and choke he till he ‘black-out’ and fall down…even when he fall down them deh kicking he, kicking he,” recalled Khan.
“The rest ah we couldn’t do nothing because the one with the gun just keep saying ‘nobody move, y’all just stay calm’.”
Khan said that he and the others in the mini-mart were relieved of their valuables, including cellular phones and cash.
The lone female among those attacked said that she remembers being “scrambled” by one of the bandits who started to question about “where all the money deh?”
It was during this time, she said, that she noticed one of the bandits picking-up a loaf of bread and taking out a quantity of ice-cream from a freezer and walking out to the car.
According to the other pump attendant, Seon Trotman, who only started working at the gas station on Monday last, he didn’t think anything was amiss when the men entered at first since he, like the others, was engrossed in the wrestling match. He said that he only realised something was very wrong when he heard some men say “‘don’t move’.”
“I wasn’t even certain if these men de serious or kidding around or what…I walked to the door and a fella grab me and lash me down to the ground.” It was then he observed that one of the men had a gun.
Soon after the young man said that the men started threatening to kill him and Khan who was at this point being slapped around by one of bandits who demanded to know where the security camera monitor was located.
“They collect a bottle of gasoline (fuel) in the shop and start throw it pun the two of we…One tell me he gon burn me and shoot he (Khan) then burn he,” recounted an evidently distraught Trotman.
He said that it was not until one of the men was able to evade the bandits and rush to the roadway that he saw a chance to escape as well.
Trotman said that he made a dash for the back of the building and scaled the fence to a neighbouring residence. A few others followed him as well.
While over at the neighbour, Trotman said that he related the ordeal and begged to use a telephone. He was able to place two calls to separate numbers, one to a friend and another to his boss, but got no answer.
However, by this time Trotman said that he observed that police officers had arrived on the scene. “It was like the police come within five minutes…very quick these police arrive,” he disclosed.
It was in fact Bevon Grandville, who was also among those being attacked in the gas station that was able to first flee the bandits causing them to panic and leave.
Grandville revealed that he was able to stop a taxi on the road and alert police officers conducting a road block in the vicinity of the Demerara Harbour Bridge. They were able to summon other officers to start patrolling the West Demerara area.
The bandits’ car was spotted.
According to a police statement, about 22:30hours Friday night, five men armed with a handgun, ice-picks and knives, attacked and robbed the pump attendant at the Nismes Fuel Station of an undisclosed sum of cash.
The police statement also revealed that three men who were with the pump attendant watching television were robbed of a total of $13,600 and two cell phones. The bandits then escaped in a motor vehicle.
Subsequent investigations by the police led to the arrest of a man and the detaining of the vehicle at Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara, while further investigations led to the arrest of three other men in a minibus at the Demerara Harbour Bridge and another man at Hunter Street, Albouystown. According to Police sources all of the apprehended men are “known characters” residing in various sections of the city— La Penitence, Albouystown and South Ruimveldt.
They are expected to be taken before the court on Tuesday.
According to the owner of the Gas Station, Stephen Persaud, who lives a few villages away, he got word about the robbery soon after it occurred. He said that when he arrived at the gas station senior police officers were already on the scene conducting investigations.
The man was high in praises for the speedy action of police officers which resulted in the bandits being caught.
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