Three armed bandits stormed the GPL outlet at Mon Repos yesterday and forced customers to empty their pockets but they abandoned their loot after learning that the police were approaching and fled while firing shots in the air.
It was the second time in less than two weeks that bandits had attacked a business office in this Mon Repos mall and eyewitnesses said that it appears that the same men and vehicle were involved.
Eyewitnesses related to Stabroek News that a grey Toyota Premio pulled up to the building “a little after midday” and three men rushed out and stormed into the building. One eyewitness said that he saw the three men race into the GPL outlet and attack the guard and relieve him of his gun.
“They attack he and tek he gun and then they tie he up and had he on the ground and round up all the customers. They know it was due date so them customers woulda been in there with all them bills to pay. They know what de going on,” the eyewitness stated.
The person explained that after tying the guard up, one of the men approached the area where the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) staff transact business. Even though the area was secured with glass, one of the bandits broke it in an attempt to get to the employee and the cash.
The other men rounded up the customers and emptied their pockets of cash and other valuables. However, a swift response by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) unnerved the bandits. On being alerted that the police were approaching, the three men darted out of the outlet, leaving the loot they had assembled and rushed to the waiting car.
The drama didn’t stop there as the men fired several shots in the air in a bid to deter anyone who wanted to follow them and managed to escape. It is unclear whether the police attempted to pursue them.
Even though the men did not manage to escape with anything, business owners around the area expressed fear since it was the second attack of the same nature in less than two weeks.
At approximately 3 pm last week Wednesday, the bandits invaded the E-Networks store, which is located in the lower flat of the mall, and held five persons, including two sales representatives, at gunpoint. The bandits, one of whom was armed with a shotgun, made good their escape in a grey Toyota Premio motor car, HC 2667 with an undisclosed amount of cash.
According to some of the eyewitnesses that were in the vicinity of yesterday’s attack, the same vehicle and the same men were involved in the robbery. “What we supposed to think? Is like anybody vulnerable cause if they got guards up deh and them man still don’t care what about people that got their small businesses around the place without guards? Like you gonna have to close up early and go home early cause nobody wants to get robbed,” a business owner, who operates his business opposite the Mall told Stabroek News yesterday.
Other business owners and persons who use the mall and surrounding businesses also expressed similar sentiments. The residents said that they were in fear now that their homes or businesses would be robbed.
“It doesn’t seem like those men care or have any regards for anyone. Because if you could just storm this busy, busy place at midday and attempt to rob a business then you gotto be real brave. People scared right because is the second one in a short time,” another businessman explained.
As a result of the attempted robbery, the GPL outlet will be closed until Monday.