The prime suspect in the Number 69 Village home invasion and armed robbery has been caught and is in police custody. That is according to Divisional Commander Assistant Commissioner Paul Williams. Speaking with reporters in Berbice on Wednesday, the Commander said the arrest followed an operation which led members of the Joint services to the West Coast of Berbice.
“We have the suspect in custody. He was arrested this morning [Wednesday] at Bath Settlement after we would have launched a full campaign,” Williams said.
This, he said, included patrols and searches of known drug houses along with searches of abandoned houses. He said there were also road blocks. The operation, according to the Police Commander, commenced at about 16:30h on Tuesday and concluded when the suspect was nabbed at about 9:00h on Wednesday.
Following the home invasion and robbery on Saturday, the Commander had reported to this publication that the police had a few leads and ranks were going to apprehend the main suspect and bring him to justice.
During the operation, members of the police-led joint service operation sought to develop a relationship with persons in the communities they went into while leaving no stones unturned in an effort to find the suspect.
Taxi driver remanded
Meanwhile, the taxi driver who was arrested on Saturday moments after the robbery has been remanded to prison. Rabindra Kumar, 25, appeared before Magistrate Rabindranauth Singh at the Springlands Magistrate Court and was not required to plea to the charge of having a firearm in his possession while not having a valid firearm license.
Police Prosecutor, Inspector Orin Joseph, told the court that on Sunday, August 6, at Number 72 Village Corentyne, Kumar had in his possession one shotgun and one live matching cartridge. The gun was also an unlicensed shotgun.
Kumar also had two other charges read against him. He has been charged with possession and also trafficking in narcotics.
Kumar will have to return to court on August 27, for a police report.
Meanwhile, the five men who were taken into custody following the robbery remain in custody as the investigation continues.
Last Saturday at about 22:20h, three heavily armed bandits hammered their way into the home of Sachin Ramrattan also called ‘Kemmy’, 27. The fisherman along with his wife Vidya Gopaul also called ‘Polly,’ 24, who is nine months pregnant and the couple’s 4-year-old son were able to escape before the men before they entered the building.
As the three men ransacked the building, seven others all masked and heavily armed remained guard on the outside, covering the yard and street.
According to one report, the intruders gained entry by smashing a window and then hammering out the iron grill and remained in the house for more than two hours. $1.7 M in jewellery, $100,000 cash and other items were reportedly missing.
According to the Police Divisional Commander, the police have not been able to make a link between that robbery and the Number 73 home invasion and robbery.
On July 25, a Corentyne businessman, his wife and son were taken to hospital after they escaped from a group of heavily armed bandits that had invaded their home at Number 73 Village.
At least seven heavily armed men committed that robbery in a similar fashion by hammering their way into the building and smashing a glass window and then using a heavy piece of wood to hit out the grill.
Similarly, the family of three also fled leaving the robbers in the building. That investigation continues. (Andrew Carmichael)