Armed bandits rob Uitvlugt family

-police hold three suspects
Bandits struck an Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara home on Saturday night, robbing the occupants of over $1M in cash and jewellery and leaving the family traumatized. Police have held three persons.

Krishnadat Ramroop stands in one of the ransacked rooms of his house yesterday.

Police said it was three men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, who attacked and robbed Krishnadat Ramroop and his family. In a statement, the lawmen said investigations revealed that Ramroop along with his wife and son were at home when the men entered through an open door and held them up. The men then tied up the victims with duct tape after which they took away $400 000, a quantity of jewellery and a cell phone and escaped.

Ramroop, a mini-bus driver, told Stabroek News that he had just returned home at about 7.30pm that day and was sitting in a hammock in his home when his four-year-old son, who was sitting on the front steps, ran past him. He said that at almost the same time, he felt a blow on the side of his head. “I holler when I get this knock,” he recalled. But he was hit again while the bandits held him, gagged him and bound his hands with duct tape.

His wife, Kumarie called ‘Seeta’ was descending the stairway at the time and said she heard as the bandits hit her husband. The couple told this newspaper that one of the robbers was armed with a handgun, another with a knife and the third carried the duct tape. Two wore handkerchiefs over the lower part of their faces.  Kumarie said her son had run past her at almost the same time but the bandit with the gun ordered her not to move. The little boy ran to the bedroom and hid under the bed.

One of the bandits, holding her at knife-point carried her upstairs while the other two guarded Ramroop. In the bedroom, the bandit hauled her son from under the bed and gagged and bound him. The still-terrified woman recalled being grabbed, duct-taped and a pillow-case placed over her head and taped around her neck. She said it was difficult to breathe and the bandits kept demanding money and jewellery. She was moved about, upstairs and downstairs, by the bandits and made to indicate where items were. The bandits asked for the “drugs money an jewellery” and told her to make sure that the neighbours knew that they were returning for their “drugs money,” she said.

Ramroop, meantime was undergoing his own ordeal, with the gunman threatening to kill his family. At gunpoint, the bandits demanded that he point out where the money was and hit him several times. “They kick me up,” he said. Ramroop said the one with the gun was “determine to kill” and threatened that he would kill the family. “Me just beg, spare them, leh me dead,” he recalled. Remaining in the house for about 25 minutes, the bandits ransacked the rooms. They eventually escaped with close to $700 000 in jewellery, $475 000, US$200 and $100 000 that someone had paid as the down payment for a car. Ramroop said the bandits left the family “centless.”

Ramroop said that the bandits took their time to sort out the gold jewellery from the costume items and left the latter behind. The frustrated man declared that he and his wife had struggled and “pay box” to purchase the items only to have them stolen. The bandits had cut the telephone wire and took away a cordless phone and a cellular phone. Kumarie was left upstairs on the bed with her son. Ramroop said one of the bandits attempted to rape her but his accomplice called him away.

Before the bandits, left, they forced Ramroop under the steps and told him not to move. However, after noticing the silence, he peeked out and observed the door was open and he thought that they had left. After struggling to free himself, he said he ran outside and began to shout “thief, thief.” He went to the assistance of his wife who could barely make a sound and then drove to the Leonora police station. Ramroop said that the ranks responded quickly but by then the bandits had left. One of them dropped a wristwatch, which was retrieved by police. The lawmen also dusted for fingerprints and yesterday arrested three men, Ramroop said.

He said he had never seen the bandits before but would be able to identify them again. The family remains afraid. “Me scared for me life. Me son scared,” said Kumarie. Ramroop said it was the first time they had experienced such a robbery.

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