A brazen gunman who robbed a Berbice family at midday yesterday was forced to drop most of his booty after police and an armed businessman in the area arrived on the scene and gave chase.
Sattie and Harry Sukhram of Bengal Farm, Corentyne, Berbice, had just closed up their hardware store when the masked bandit barged into their home and terrorised them for some 45 minutes before making off with a number of items including a bottle of champagne.
The couple told Stabroek News (SN) that an employee was about to leave the store through the back door when the gunman confronted him and pushed him back into the building. Sattie said the gunman marched both her and the worker up to the upper flat of the building where they encountered her husband. The gunman then ordered the worker to tie the couple up and then he bounded the worker, demanding money and then proceeded to ransack the building.
After his search left him empty-handed he untied the couple and told them if they didn’t hand over the money he would shoot them. The couple said they handed over cash, a laptop computer and a quantity of both Digicel and GT&T phone cards all of which were stuffed into a duffel bag.
The gunman then left through the back door and was attempting to escape via the couple’s backyard. On discovering that that was impossible, he made a right turn heading for the front and encountered Sukhram who ordered him out of the yard. The man then ran through the street firing shots into the air with two guns. By this time the police had been alerted and three unarmed ranks, who were on patrol at the time, along with an armed businessman followed the bandit into the back dam.
Sources told this newspaper that when the group saw the man they at first assumed that he was a farmer and did not confront him right away. SN understands that the man had a bag on his back and was heading to the back dam and the group only realised that he was the bandit after he started shooting at them. The businessman returned a shot and the gunman dropped his bag and escaped into the bushes.
Sources said that the bandit had put some of the cash into his pockets as when the bag was checked several pieces of wet clothes were also in it. The couple’s neighbour told this newspaper that earlier she had observed a “strange looking man” sitting on the roadway. She said her maid drew her attention to the man and she initially thought that he might have been of unsound mind. However, the woman said she locked up her home and went indoors but she did not alert her neighbours to the man’s presence. She believes that it was the same man who robbed the couple.
This newspaper understands too that other police ranks were in the area but they had apparently taken a different route from the group that confronted the bandit. Police investigations are continuing.