Bandits chop, terrorise T&T pastor and family -escape with jewels, vehicles

An investigator at the scene

(Trinidad Guardian) Hog-tied, gagged and bleeding heavily, a La Romaine pastor begged Jehovah God to spare his life after bandits stormed his home, chopping him and his son before stealing two vehicles, jewellery and cash totalling more than $.5 million early yesterday.

An investigator at the scene

For three hours, Pastor Junior Anderson, his wife Anna, 66 and son Michael, 32, were held under siege while the robbers smashed their home seeking a vault which did not exist.

Anderson, 66, who heads the World Outreach Life Changing Pentecostal Church in Palmiste, San Fernando, suffered chops to his head and right foot and remains warded in a stable condition at the San Fernando General Hospital. His son Michael suffered eight stab wounds and a chop to the head while his wife Anna, 66 suffered a swollen finger during the brazen robbery at their La Bel Air, La Romaine home.

Anderson, who survived quadruple bypass surgery and vascular surgery four years ago, was known for his charitable works in south Trinidad. He was in the process of rebuilding a home for a young family as well as supporting sporting groups in his community.

During an interview at their home yesterday, Anna said she and her husband were asleep around 1.37 am when they heard Michael screaming.

“We ran out of the room and saw a man on the bed struggling with Michael. He was bawling ‘Where the money? Where is the vault?’”

Anderson rushed to his son’s aid but the robbers dealt him two chops. They then used a bed sheet to tie up the family. Anna said she begged the robbers to take everything but to leave her family alone.

Lying at the foot of the bed, Anna said she could feel her husband’s blood spilling on her leg.

“He was losing a lot of blood. My mouth was stuffed and I kept trying to talk to him so I would know if he was okay. He mumbled back to me. He kept conscious throughout the entire ordeal,” Anna said.

During this time, the men ransacked the three bedrooms, overturning furniture, emptying drawers and smashing the plastic-panelled walls. They stole $3,000 in cash, a gold chain with cross pendant valued at $15,000, a diamond ring valued at $20,000, a gold bera valued at $10,000, a gold ring valued at $2,000, $10,000 in perfume, a DVD player worth $300, two cellular phones worth $2,000 and two JVC televisions worth $8,000. They had time to sift through a shoebox of jewellery sorting out gold and costume jewellery. They also bagged up the pastor’s jeans and tee-shirts.

The robbers turned off all the lights while they packed up the valuables so the family was unable to see their faces.

The robbers parked their car near to the couple’s home and despite trudging through the bushes with their stolen loot, they were neither seen by neighbours nor picked up by surveillance videos. They escaped in the family’s Toyota Corolla, licensed PCT 8756 and valued at $190,000 and a Kia Sportage (PDC 9991) valued at $273,000.

Police believe the men had the family’s home under surveillance before attacking yesterday. They entered by prying open a burglar-proofed door at the side. The men are believed to be professionals who also broke into another house at Esperance recently. Investigators have several leads into the incident.

Insp Don Gajadhar is heading investigations.



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