– after frequent robberies, owners forced to abort 24-hour service
By: Davina Ramdass
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for many businesses, and it’s perhaps also the most wonderful time of the year for those looking to turn a profit.
But that’s not exactly the case at the Shell Gas Station located in Mc Doom, East Bank of Demerara.
That’s because bandits have struck so often there recently that the owners have been forced to abort their 24-hour service.
A supervisor revealed that robbers struck at the Mc Doom facility three times in two months.
The robberies he said occurred in the month of October and November.
But bandits have been taking a liking to this filling station, located in a crime-prone area, even before then.
In April 2016, three gunmen invaded the filling Station (then known as Shell Gas Station) at around 03:00 hrs. They then engaged in a gunfight with police ranks who responded.
Video footage had shown the three bandits coming through a nearby street and walking into the gas station. One of the bandits stood guard outside while two others broke into the outlet and held the three employees at gunpoint.
They then robbed the staffers, and took about $10,000 from the cash register. Three suspects were subsequently held and a firearm and ammunition recovered.
There was also a scary incident in the vicinity of the filling station last January, when one of two motorcycle bandits was shot dead during an attempted robbery on a businessman he and an accomplice had trailed.
The incident occurred on the western carriageway along the East Bank.
The supervisor told Kaieteur News that he is thankful that no one was hurt during these recent attacks.
He was keen to note that the Gas Station, before being stormed, operated for 24 hours daily.
Now, they close at 22.00 hrs.
He would like to see the Gas Station, which is managed by Sol, open as regular as it used to, given the fact that it has affected the revenue intake especially at the busiest season of the year.
For the safety of customers and employees, he noted that the management took the decision to reduce the business hours. Other locations that are also managed by Sol still function for 24 hours.
This has prompted the management, according to him, to implement more security measures which should be in place for the New Year.
Meanwhile, other businesses in the city have extended their opening hours for the festive season.
Several stores in Georgetown are opened on Sundays to accommodate late shoppers.
The City of Georgetown remains flooded with shoppers for this special time of the year, given the fact that Christmas is the time that women in particular find it necessary for new curtains, rugs and even appliances and furniture.
Regent, Camp and Water Streets, Georgetown are just a few of the streets that are packed with customers, who enjoy their shopping with Christmas music blaring from little push carts and the Masquerade dancers prancing on the streets.
A few street vendors said that sales this year are slower but appear to be picking up as the days to Christmas draw nearer.
Meanwhile, stores like Décor and Gift Gallery have seen fewer customers purchasing decorations.
The National Hardware, Water Street location, has been crowded for quite some time, and saw customers mainly shopping for decorations.
The popular home furnishing store, Courts, which is located in the heart of the City has been attracting massive shoppers as well.
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