Bandits rob Popeyes again, shoot bystander

A bystander was shot on Wednesday evening when armed bandits invaded the Popeyes restaurant on Vlissengen Road and held up employees before escaping with over $200,000.

In the latest in a series of attacks on the restaurant, Ian Jupiter, 27, of Campbellville Housing Scheme, sustained a bullet wound to his right leg after the bandits began firing in the air during their escape.

According to a supervisor at Popeyes, Jupiter was outside of the building and he was grazed by a bullet the men fired.

The police, in a press release, said that at about 8.35pm on Wednesday two men armed with guns held up female cashiers at the restaurant and took away a total of $212, 000.

Security guards who were on duty at the time reportedly ran for cover after observing the attack.

The attack was captured by surveillance cameras installed on the premises. The footage, which was seen by Stabroek News, revealed three young men entering the building.

The Popeyes restaurant on Vlissengen Road which was robbed
The Popeyes restaurant on Vlissengen Road which was robbed

One of the men, who appeared to be a customer, entered and stood close to the counter with his cellphone and he appeared to be texting. Simultaneously another camera captured the other two men outside of the building at the same time. One of the men had a cellphone, which he looked at before putting it in his pocket

Soon afterwards, the two armed men entered the building and the man who was near the counter was seen surrendering to the bandits as he raised his hands.

However, some of the staff members believe that although the man appeared to be a customer, he was an accomplice as he may have entered to scrutinise the building as part of the orchestrated robbery.

One of the two armed man quickly jumped over the counter and he grabbed the collar of one of the cashiers and pushed her to the ground.

The bandit was promptly joined by his accomplice, who also jumped over the counter.

The armed men were seen chucking the employees before ordering them to lay on the ground.

As the women lay still, one of the cash registers was emptied by the men before they proceeded beyond the counter to the office area.

However, according to the supervisor, the bandits were forced to abort their entry into the office as they were greeted with a locked door and the shouts of a manager, who raised an alarm.

“The manager run outside and start fuh holler fuh thief! Thief!” the supervisor said, while he noted that the men quickly exited the building.

One of the staffers who ran outside locked the door of the building with an outer lock in a bid to prevent the bandits from escaping.

But the surveillance footage revealed the men pushing the glass doors, which quickly shattered while another door swung open and fell off the building.

It did not require much force from the bandits to break the doors, which were changed two weeks ago.

An employee bemoan-ed the fact that the property was not effectively secured with armed security guards.

“This place was robbed several times before and the police never ketch nobody,” a staff member said.

As the men exited, they began to open fire into the air in a bid to fend off any response to the alarm which was raised, the supervisor stated.

When Stabroek News visited the restaurant yesterday, the business was opened as usual and staff members were busy carrying out their duties.