Residents in the Eccles new housing scheme on the East Bank of Demerara continue to decry the almost daily occurrences of armed robberies and home invasions in the area.
With the countrywide crime wave spiralling out of control, it seems that the Eccles area, including the Young Professionals Housing Scheme, has become a prime target for the criminals to ply their nefarious ‘trade’.
Numerous persons have been robbed in the area in recent times during brazen day-light attacks, including on the home of an Attorney-at-Law, the Registrar of Deeds, and even the head of the area’s policing group.
And just two days ago, the home of another Eccles resident was robbed – for the sixth time! During the blazing midday sun on Friday, bandits broke and entered the home belonging to one Mr. Robinson, who was not in at the time, and escaping with a number of home appliances and digital equipment.
The man’s neighbour, Mr Nipan Bodhan, told INews that no one was at home at the time of the robbery. According to Bodhan, the bandits cleverly timed the quiet neighbourhood despite the presence of some construction workers who were working nearby.
“My neighbour is extremely frustrated…this is the sixth time that bandits broke into his home…On Friday, they waited until the (construction) workers take their break for lunch and climbed up on top the garage and made their entry through a window,” Bodhan related.
Bodhan said a high concrete wall blocked the workers from observing what was happening next door.
The concerned neighbour noted that many of Mr Robinson’s building materials were also stolen during several previous robberies despite having a security who was at one time tied-up while the robbery was being carried out.
Meanwhile, just over a week ago (on September 14), three separate homes from the nearby ‘Young Professionals Housing Scheme’ at Eccles were invaded and robbed by armed bandits on the same day.
However, with quick response from the Police, two of the bandits were caught red handed, apprehended and subsequently charged.
In the first instance, reports indicate that at approximately 10:00hrs on Wednesday (Sept. 14), at the home of Attorney-at Law, Paula Nicolson, suspicious activity was noted to be occurring behind the house by the woman’s daughter who was home alone at the time. Acting on her suspicion, Nicolson’s daughter secured herself in a room and proceeded to dial 911 for assistance.
Luckily for her, the police arrived promptly and were able to detain the two men who were attempting to flee.
Further inspection of the premises disclosed that the men were able to enter the house through the back windows.
No one was injured, and it is alleged that the men were not aware that Nicolson’s daughter was in the house at the time of the incident.
In the case of the second robbery, at around 13:00hrs on Wednesday, with a security guard and contractor tied up in the yard, the Registrar of Deeds Azeena Baksh was held at gun-point by two gunmen.
Speaking with INews after the robbery, Baksh said she responded to the calls of her security guard for a glass of water, and upon doing so, she realized that it was a hoax as he was tied up along with a contractor who was working in the yard.
Pointing a gun to her face, the gunmen took her into a room and demanded that she turn over all cash and jewelry to them. However, when she attempted to explain that she had no jewelry or substantial cash in the home since she was robbed sometime last year as well, they became aggravated.
Baksh told INews that it was the sound of a vehicle in her driveway that scared the perpetrators off, leaving her and the workers, unharmed. Later, she discovered that it was her sister and brother-in-law who had arrived and based on suspicion, phoned the Police, who responded promptly. However, the slick gunmen had already escaped.
Within the space of two months, numerous robberies have been reported to have occurred in the Eccles new housing area. Residents are calling for regular Police patrols in the area, as well as the possibility of setting up a Police Outpost in this seemingly crime infested community.