Sheriff St businesses lose $9M in burglaries

Two Sheriff Street businesses suffered millions in losses following two well-executed burglaries sometime between Thursday evening and early Friday morning.

The businesses, both owned by women, lost some $9 million in items, not counting the damage to property.

Camille Dalrymple, owner of Krystal Clear Photocopying & Docu-ment Centre, explained that around 8am yesterday, she received a call from her husband informing her of the robbery. The man had apparently been passing the business and had thought his wife was already at work when he saw the door open. He decided to drop in to say hello but was instead met with a ransacked place.

The ripped apart grilles in C&J Essential Pharmacy. This was one of two Sheriff Street  businesses that lost $9M to burglars between Thursday night and Friday morning.
The ripped apart grilles in C&J Essential Pharmacy. This was one of two Sheriff Street
businesses that lost $9M to burglars between Thursday night and Friday morning.

The locks, Dalrymple said, had been expertly cut and almost all of the store’s supplies stolen. The missing items included photocopying machines, laptops, phones, and stationery and have an estimated value of at least $2.5 million.

Carla Fields-Watson of C&J Essential Pharmacy next-door, said she had also learnt about the robbery by way of a telephone around 6:45am from a nearby snackette worker. She immediately rushed from her D’urban Backlands home and arrived to find the grilled bars covering her windows ripped out of place.

She added that she had not opened the store until the police arrived. The procession, she said, went in to assess the damage.

When Stabroek News visited the scene yesterday, broken glass was strewn across the floors while the few remaining pharmaceutical products either lay haphazardly on the counters or on the floor.

Fields-Watson estimated her losses at about $6.5 million. “I just gotta be calm because I lost a lot and stressing isn’t going to benefit anything,” she said.

The clipped lock from Krystal Clear Photocopying & Document Centre’s entrance
The clipped lock from Krystal Clear Photocopying & Document Centre’s entrance

When speaking to this newspaper, both women expressed amazement at the fact that no one, especially their landlords who lived above the stores, had heard nothing.

Fields-Watson opined that the process of cutting locks and removing the grilles from their places would have been a lengthy and particularly noisy one. She added that the breaking of glass as well as the moving of heavy items should have also caught some attention.

An upset Dalrymple agreed and said she was dismayed that she had to learn about the robbery from her husband instead of the caretakers. She further stated that the robbery seemed a bit too perfect; she believes that the perpetrators must have known the place well.

The power-of-attorney of the building maintained that he had heard nothing.

At the scene, nerves were taut as accusations were hurled back and forth between the parties involved.

On Sunday, there was an attempted robbery on an auto sales shop on the other side of Dalrymple’s business. According to Vishnu Persaud, owner of the shop, one of the store’s walls was hit by what must have been a sledgehammer due to the extent of the damage. However, the robbers were stymied by grilles which lay just behind the wall.

Persaud added that he had heard that two men had tried to commit the act but had run away after the landlord heard a noise and went down to investigate. The police were called, he said, but never arrived.

Several persons were heard expressing that there might be a correlation between Sunday’s attempted robbery and yesterday’s.

A ransacked section of Field-Watson’s business
A ransacked section of Field-Watson’s business

According to Persaud, the Sheriff Street area is a very busy one and therefore many persons dismiss noises when they hear them.

As investigations continue, Dalrymple and Fields-Watson plan on taking opposite courses of action; the former intends to move her business elsewhere, expressing “discomfort” with its current location while Fields-Watson said that she plans on restarting and restocking her pharmacy.

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