—accused buries stolen cash, firearm in backyard
By Feona Morrison
A husband and wife team along with an elderly man was charged with four counts of simple larceny
after they appeared yesterday in the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court. The charges against the trio stemmed from a staged robbery orchestrated by two RK security guards during which one of them was shot.
However, police were able to ascertain the real circumstances behind the event and arrested the two guards, 35-year-old Dameon Pearce of Sophia Squatting Area and Cleveland Pyle, 53, of Lot 337 Number 9 Village, West Coast Berbice along with Pearce’s reputed wife, Eulesie Stephen.
Police are alleging that the guards planned to steal a large quantity of money that was in their possession. The cash was obtained from businesses to be deposited in the bank.
It is alleged that on May 23, at Le Ressouvenir, East Coast Demerara Pearce, Pyle and Stephen stole the sum of $148,000 property of Church’s.
It was further alleged that on the same day they stole the sum of $4,356,500 belonging to Courts. They were also accused of stealing $3M property of SSS Supermarket.
Further it is alleged that the trio stole two .32 revolvers along with ten .32 live rounds of ammunition all totaling $302, 860—property of RK’s Security.
The accused were not required to plead to the latter charges as they were indictable.
Dameon Pearce was charge solely for possession of illegal firearms and ammunition.
Particulars of the first charge alleged that on May 25, at Sophia, Pearce had a .32 revolver in his possession when he was not the holder of a firearm licence.
And finally, it was also alleged that on the same day, at the same location he had five .32 rounds of ammunition in his tenure when he was not in possession of a firearm licence. He pleaded not guilty to these charges.
They were all remanded to prison until July 5, for reports.
According to a police release, at about 20:00hrs last Monday, Pearce and Pyle who are attached to the private security firm, were making a night deposit at a bank at Le Ressouvenir, when they were attacked by a man armed with a firearm.
It said that the perpetrator shot Pearce to his left foot and took away the night deposit bag which contained an undisclosed sum of cash that had been collected from business places and the two .32 revolvers with 10 rounds and escaped in a motorcar driven by an accomplice.
Although, the guards were armed with weapons, no one returned fire at the fleeing bandit, arousing the suspicions of investigators.
At yesterday’s court hearing, Police Lance Corporal David Goodridge and Police Sergeant Ayesha Gibbons presented the prosecution’s case.
Gibbons told the court that on the day in question, the security guards uplifted cash from the businesses to take to Demerara Bank. She said that 29-year-old Stephens joined the vehicle at Victoria and collected the cash along with a stolen firearm from her spouse and took it to her home in Sophia where she buried the items in her backyard.
According to Prosecutor Gibbons, investigations were launched after reports were made to police of a staged robbery plotted by the accused, and that Pearce was shot as part of the plan.
She added that police acting on information, went to the home of Pearce and his reputed wife and were taken to a backdam where Stephens dug up some of the cash and firearm.
Attorney Adrian Thompson represented Pearce and Stephens.
The lawyer maintained that it was a robbery and that his client was shot during the ordeal. He said that Pearce was admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and was later taken into custody at the Vigilance Police Station.
Thompson said that his client was employed at RK’s security as a guard and has a narcotic trafficking matter pending before the court.
Thompson asked that Stephen be admitted to bail because she was nowhere near the crime scene. He also said that the woman at no time took possession of the money.
Additionally, the lawyer stated that Stephens is not a flight risk and has a five-month-old baby who is in need of her for breast feeding and care.
However, Prosecutor Gibbons objected to bail for the accused citing the prevalence of the offences. She also pointed out the nature and circumstances under which the offences were committed.
She argued that the evidence against the accused is strong and there is a likelihood they may not return to court for trial if bail should be granted.
Moreover, the Prosecutor disclosed that they provided police with caution statements.
She indicated that investigations are still ongoing and further advice is being sought from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
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