…after robbing supermarket in Berbice
Two persons are now in custody after armed bandits stormed a Corentyne supermarket around 20:00h on Saturday.
One of the gunmen was caught after he was chased by victims of the robbery and he was revealed to be someone living next door to the supermarket at Number 68 Village. He was reportedly found with the businessman’s cellular phone in his pocket, as well as a bag containing the stolen cash.
The gunman was said to be hospitalised in Berbice under Police guard after he reportedly broke his leg while trying to escape.
The father of the detained suspect is also in custody after several pieces of camouflage clothing, similar to those worn by the bandits, were found in his house.
At the time of the robbery, four persons were in the supermarket. According to the proprietor of the supermarket, Akash Persaud, about 20:00h on Saturday night, his school friend – who is now a police officer – was leaving the supermarket when five men appeared from the southern side of the building and one of them began firing shots in the air while ordering everyone to go into the building.
Persaud said his Police friend, who was in plain clothes at the time, was hit by one of the gunmen. Persaud said he counted five bandits, all of whom were masked and armed with handguns.
According to him, when he was taken inside, he realised that his mother had already vacated the cashier area and had exited the lower flat where the supermarket is. He further related that one of the bandits jumped into the cashier area and cut the cable leading to the Digital Video Recorder (DVR). “After that, we had no recording of anything.”
He said one of the men fired a shot at the door leading to the upper flat where his mother, wife and six-month-old baby were.
The 35-year-old businessman said his family secured themselves in the third bedroom in the upper flat of the building. Meanwhile, two of the intruders broke the door, went into the upper flat and broke into the first bedroom and opened a wardrobe.
“They took out a bag and emptied the bag, but there was nothing (of value) in the bag.”
He said the one who had gone to the cashier area took out the money from the register, along with a box containing change customers would leave behind that is used for charity. He then shouted to his accomplices upstairs. “‘We get enough! we get enough!’ after which they immediately ran downstairs and left. I keep peeping at them from a distance because, I wanted to see exactly how many of them were in the building. I counted five and after they left, I ran out immediately because I wanted to see which direction they were going to.”
A cellular phone was also stolen from one of the customers and the Policeman was relieved of a gold chain and ring. The bandit who went into the cashier area took the businessman’s cellular phone.
After the bandits fled the scene on foot, the businessman and the off-duty Police Officer left in the Policeman’s car in pursuit of the criminals who were seen entering the backlands. He said they went after them even though several gunshots were fired in their direction.
“We had to turn around, because none of us were armed. But we were able to shine the light and see the last one; he tried to jump the drain to get to the ball field and his foot got stuck in the mud and broke. He started to say it wasn’t me that he heard gunshots and just ran. Well, my wife rang my phone because she wanted to know where I was and my phone rang in his pocket. I took the bag from him and it consists of all the cash which he took from the shop,” the businessman said.
INews understands that it was close to $300,000 that the man had taken from the shop. The bandit was handed over to the Springlands Police before being taken to the Skeldon Hospital, where he was treated before being transferred to the New Amsterdam Hospital, where he underwent immediate surgery.
The bandit who was apprehended lives two houses away from the supermarket. According to Persaud, the suspected bandit who has a one-month-old baby had approached him a few weeks ago for baby food. “I told him to go and take what he wants, and whenever he get the money, he could pay me…,” the businessman said.
He added that he counted about 16 gunshots that were fired in and around his supermarket. These are in addition to those that were fired at them next to the playground.
This publication understands that in addition to the five persons who entered the building, there were two others who stayed a short distance away.
Persaud has been operating the business for the past two years at that location. (Andrew Carmichael)