Two armed bandits terrorised an Adelphi Village household on Thursday night. The bandits escaped with over $300,000 in cash as well as several smartphones and a small amount of jewellery after fleeing just as police arrived.
Relating the family’s ordeal, Kamaldai Balram, 50, who operates a grocery shop out of her home at Lot 16 First Street, Adelphi, East Canje, Berbice, said they had visitors who left around 10.10pm. As she was closing the gate, she saw two men running towards her. She said she called for her husband, but before they could get into the house and close the door, one of the men jumped over the fence, put his hand through the grill with a gun and ordered them not to close the door.
Balram said her elder daughter had left her seven-year-old daughter with them and when her younger daughter heard the commotion, she immediately took the child and successfully hid in the kitchen throughout the ordeal.
Balram said she, her husband and son were tied up downstairs, while one of the bandits went upstairs to search for money and jewellery. However, he soon returned empty-handed and took her upstairs to retrieve same.
She said she told the bandit that she did not have jewellery, but she had some money and would give it to him. According to the woman, the bandit was calm. “He said ‘abi go take one, one room at a time,’” she recalled. In her room, she opened her wardrobe and handed him an envelope with an undisclosed amount of cash. But she said he told her, “This is not all” and ordered her to empty the wardrobe.
Balram explained that she had gone to the market earlier in the day and had dropped her purse in a basket in her room when she returned. “When he upturned the basket and the purse fall, he say, ‘you see me got to hurt you now because you say you na get more money and look me find more money.’ He say ‘help me open them drawers quick, quick before me hurt you. You na cooperate. Me want the jewellery, weh the jewellery deh?’” she added. Balram said he then searched on top of the wardrobe and found her husband’s wallet.
In the second room, he asked where her daughter was and where her daughter’s money was. The woman said she told him her daughter was not at home. He searched all of her daughter’s purses and took whatever money he could find.
In the third room, he asked for her son’s money and when told he had none, queried whether he was employed.
At that point, the second bandit who was downstairs with the gun, ran upstairs and said it was time to leave. She said, “He then took me in the backroom and give me two push and cuff and say ‘me go hurt you here cause you na give me the money and you get more money.’ He say, ‘abi go deal with your daughter, you daughter bring she money here?’ I then say no, she na come here and she na bring no money.”
Just then, a phone rang downstairs. The bandit ran down, grabbed her son’s bag and threw all of their cellphones inside. He then went into the shop and removed cigarettes, juice and coffee. A neighbour, who heard the commotion, called Balram’s older daughter and she drove to the Reliance Police Station, a few streets away. When she got to the house with the police, they saw two men jump over the fence. The police rushed after them, but lost them.
Balram said the bandits took a shortcut the police did not know about. However, she said the ranks were very helpful and concerned, and they called later on to collect information and check in on the family.
Balram’s older daughter, who lives a street away and also operates a shop, was the victim of an attempted robbery on Wednesday night. The same daughter’s husband, who sells rice, was robbed about a month ago.