Storeowner shoots suspected robber hours after mall hold-up

Hours after being robbed, a storeowner shot a man identified to him as one of the perpetrators last evening near the Stabroek Market.

Dwayne Charles, 25, of Charlestown sustained a gunshot wound to his right abdomen and was in a stable condition at the Georgetown Hospital up to press time.

Charles was shot after he and another man were identified to Isaacs Computer Electronics store owner Anthony Sarjoo as the two men who posed as customers and robbed the store yesterday morning of $1.5M in electronic devices and mobile phones.

An empty display case after the robbery at Issacs Computer Electronics on the third floor of the Regent Multiplex mall on Regent and Wellington streets yesterday.
An empty display case after the robbery at Issacs Computer Electronics on the third floor of the Regent Multiplex mall on Regent and Wellington streets yesterday.

Both men were carrying bags and a box of batteries, two cellular phones and some phone cases were retrieved from the bag Charles was carrying at the time he was shot. His companion managed to escape with the bag he was carrying.

Sarjoo, who says he  is a licensed firearm holder, confirmed to Stabroek News that he shot Charles, who he said was identified by an employee of the store that was present at the time of the robbery.

He recounted that around 5:45pm, he and the employee were in the vicinity of the market when the employee saw the two men walking and pointed them out to him.

According to Sarjoo, Charles and his companion saw them and tried to evade them. “They saw me with the man they tied up and they panicked. One of them went to his waist. I am not sure if he had a gun, but I draw mine and fired one shot,” he said.  “He fell to the ground and I then went over him and told him not to move. By this time, a large crowd had gathered,” the man added.

The police were then called to the scene and Sarjoo was taken to the Brickdam Police Station and the wounded Charles to the hospital.

In a brazen attack hours earlier, two men who posed as customers had held up employees at the Issacs Computer Electronics store on the third floor of the Regent Multiplex mall on Regent and Wellington streets.

When this newspaper arrived at the scene shortly after the robbery, several detectives were questioning staff members and dusting for fingerprints.

Sarjoo at the time said it was the first time the store had been robbed since it opened four years ago. “I didn’t expect them to come all the way up here and rob me; this is the first time we have been robbed,” he said.

He was about to head to the store when his employees called him at about 9:20am and informed him of the hold up.

Sarjoo said that although there are no cameras in the store, they were able to get pictures of the suspects from the cameras in the mall. “The owner of the mall came and we were able to view the surveillance tape and we saw the guys who carried out the robbery. The camera is of a poor quality though, so the pictures are not very clear. I definitely plan to install cameras soon,” he added.

A store employee said that one of the men went in to fix a part on his phone. He said the next thing he knew, they were being robbed. “The guy with the plait hair come and give me the phone to change a part and while I was changing it, I see the next guy come in and he was looking around the place and I barely put my head down to check the phone, the next thing I know, he run up to me and fire two juk and tell me don’t say nothing, then he push me up on the file cabinet,” he recalled.

“He then took me to the back and tied me up with some cable strap he had in his haversack and put me to lay on the ground. He tied up the other guy too and took the keys and started opening the showcases and taking out stuff… they pick up haversack and laptops and a set of thing. The whole thing lasted like 15 minutes,” the worker added.

Meanwhile, several shop owners in the mall said that they were amazed that the men would carry out such a daring robbery. “This mall does be a little busy around dem time. I am surprised that no one saw or heard anything, especially since they took away a set of stuff,” one of them said.

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