Bandits last night terrorized a Montrose family but fled when a hidden member of the household raised an alarm when her parents arrived home.
The police had also arrived at the time but they were criticized for what residents said was ineffectual action.
Babita Naraine was in fear for the lives of her daughters last night after she received a call informing her that armed bandits had invaded her home while the girls were still inside.
Even as she fought to control her breathing, Naraine, who operates a taxi service from her Montrose Line Top home, shared with reporters that she was on her way back from a gas station when she received the nerve-wracking phone call.
Her fear grew after she, accompanied by her husband, arrived at her home and was greeted by the screams of her older daughter from inside the house. The young woman had heard her parents pull up, and decided to scream so as to alert them that something was wrong.
The young woman later reporters that she was at home with her younger sister and taxi drivers who work with her parents’ taxi service.
“I was just home and the bandit came in and I ran and hide, and they had guns and they were pointing and they were pointing and I run and I hide and they were looking for me, they were asking where I was and if I was going to call the police,” she said while managing to remain calm.
The gunmen, three of them, by the girl’s count, went to collect her sister, who kept asking the intruders “who are you, who are you.” Though she was hidden from the gunmen, the older sister said she could see the movement of the gunmen, and shared that she saw them point the gun at her younger sister.
The younger sister is said to have been taken by the gunmen into a room where she was held with the taxi drivers. The intruders then proceeded to tumble through drawers and wardrobes looking for money and valuables. The men would eventually find $400,000 in cash and around $350,000 in jewellery. This would not have been hard for them to do, Naraine related, since the money and items were not really hidden.
The older sister, still undiscovered by the intruders, said she eventually heard a car pull up in front of the house and decided to raise an alarm.
“I hear a car come and I start to shout `bandit in the house! bandit in the house!’ so that someone could hear us, and then they (the gunmen) were saying that `the girl is in the house! the girl is in the house’ and they were looking for me.”
As the gunmen unsuccessfully traversed the house seeking out the girl, she was able to make good her escape with the assistance of her father and police officers who had by that time arrived at the scene of the incident. Her fears and that of her father were not quelled as the younger sister remained in the house under the eyes and guns of the intruders.
Meanwhile, members of the Guyana Police Force were orchestrating a plan of entry. Naraine said that after she learned of the intruders in her home, she made calls to the Beterverwagting and Sparendaam Police Stations and was pleased at their prompt arrival.
Onlookers though, are of the view that police ranks moved too slowly to act and may have unwittingly helped the gunmen’s escape. According to eyewitnesses, ranks took cover behind parked cars in the vicinity of the house and fired warning shots so as to alert the intruders of their presence. This act gave the impression to some that the ranks were afraid or otherwise hesitant to enter the premises.
By the time the police penetrated the house though, the gunmen had already escaped, presumably by jumping the low picket fence which borders the back of the house. The younger sister was found unhurt in the house.
Also on the scene were armed members of the neighbourhood policing group and members of the MMC Security Services.
The house was heavily grilled but the gunmen were still able to gain entrance through an opened door on the bottom flat.