Owner of hijacked vehicle used in foiled bank robbery arrested

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…in relation to outstanding arrest warrant  

The owner of the hijacked vehicle used by bandits in the foiled robbery on Republic Bank Limited’s Water Street, Georgetown Branch on Tuesday morning was arrested in relation to an outstanding warrant dating back to 2016. This is according to Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum who provided an update to INews on the progress of the investigations. 

The vehicle used by the bandits

INews understands that the man’s vehicle was reportedly hijacked on Monday evening by the bandits. As such, he went to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to make a report and it was during this process that an investigator recognised him. After further questioning, he was held by law enforcement officials in relation to the outstanding arrest warrant. 

Dead : Elton Wray

INews understands that in 2015, the vehicle owner had been arrested at Coldigen, East Coast Demerara for having an illegal .38 firearm and matching ammunition in his possession.

The man was arraigned but after several postponements, he had stopped attending his trial. Nevertheless, the court proceedings continued and an arrest warrant was issued. He was later sentenced in absentia to serve four years in prison.

Meanwhile, after hijacking the man’s vehicle the previous night, three young bandits attempted to conduct a daring robbery on Republic Bank Limited at around 07:30hrs on Tuesday.

Keron Saunders  seated in the white vest while Jamal Haynes, who was shot three times, lay bleeding on the floor

INews had previously reported that the trio entered the ATM door attached to the bank and broke the adjoining door in order to gain access to the entity.

The employees who were on duty at the time began to panic as the three bandits began to fire shots at the security personnel. The exchange of fire lasted for several minutes until one of the gunmen- identified as 24-year-old Elton Wray- grabbed one of the bank’s employees as hostage and escaped from the building running towards the arcade located south of the bank.

However, he was trailed and subsequently shot to his chest and apprehended.

Another of the criminals – 24-year-old Jamal Haynes- reportedly managed to flee the bank and ran into a cook shop located near the arcade with law enforcement officials at his heels.

He reportedly ran into the kitchen of the same business and pretended to be a cook but employees at that entity raised an alarm. Haynes reportedly exchanged fire with police during which he was shot to both of his thighs and his male genital organ.

The third accomplice- 24-year-old Keron Saunders- was arrested as he was walking out of the bank.

The perpetrators were all rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital and Wray succumbed while receiving treatment. The other two were discharged into police custody on Tuesday evening.

Wray, of Eccles, East Bank Demerara also known as “Peas” was an Agronomy graduate who had been studying in China for several years and only returned to Guyana recently. He was on a five-year work contract with the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI). He was also a part-time English Teacher in China.

Haynes resides in Norton Street, Wortmanville, Georgetown and was also an employee of Republic Bank Limited. He and Wray were best friends.

Saunders is said to be a cousin of one of the suspects.

Police confirmed today that an extension of the detainment of Haynes and Saunders will be applied for on Thursday.

Presently, the duo is reportedly cooperating with investigators.

In addition, on Tuesday afternoon, police discovered motor vehicle, PWW 1452 belonging to now dead bandit, Elton Wray, parked in front of Royal Castle in South Ruimveldt Georgetown.

The dead man’s employee badge was also seen in the motor car as it was being towed to the Brickdam Police Station where it was impounded. (Ramona Luthi)

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