After returning home from grocery shopping on Saturday afternoon, Guyana Times columnist Ryhaan Shah was held at gunpoint and robbed of her car.
Recalling the emotionally scarring ordeal to Stabroek News yesterday, Shah explained that she had returned to her Irving Street home around 1:20 pm at which point she was attacked.
“I turned onto my bridge, high day time with people on the road. Cars were passing up and down. I got out of the car to open the gate because everything was locked and I was not aware of anything,” Shah said.
She explained that just as she was about to open her gates an armed bandit grabbed onto her hands and started to wrestle with her.
“…Suddenly there was a guy pushing a gun to me and I had my key in my hand and he’s holding my hands so I am thinking that he was after my watch. But then we started scrambling and he has the gun to my head and he pulled the keys out and threw it to another guy who was already by the driver’s seat,” Shah recalled.
The three men then jumped into Shah’s Silver-Grey Toyota Allion, PLL 1127, and escaped north along Vlissengen Road, leaving the woman stranded in front of her house. Luckily for Shah, one of her neighbours, who was in the vicinity searching for her lost dog, noticed the attack and went to her aid.
However, by the time the neighbour reached Shah, the bandits had already sped off with her car and made good their escape.
“She [Shah’s neighbour] got onto 911 and she was able to tell them the car number and what was happening. The surprising thing was that there was bumper to bumper traffic on the other road (Vlissengen) road and no one tried to help,” Shah said, while saying that she was very disappointed that three men were able to rob her of her car on a Saturday midday while the road was busy.
“I was shouting for help and everyone was just looking on and gawking,” Shah recalled. After her neighbour came to her rescue, the duo went to the Alberttown Police Station, where she said she was disappointed again. Shah related that the policeman explained that he wanted to revisit the scene of the crime but did not have any vehicles to take him. As a result, Shah’s neighbour had to take the policeman back to the scene and then back to the police station.
“The police at 2:00pm don’t have a car. I really don’t know what’s going on when you’re coming for something as simple as that and you don’t have a vehicle,” Shah said.
In addition to losing her car, Shah explained that all of her important documents and some cash were in the car along with the groceries she had bought earlier. “I don’t know how to feel, whether angry or sad. I’m just totally disoriented. I just feel like this country is doomed with all of these things happening. Perhaps they saw a gray-haired woman who was vulnerable and decided to attack,” she said.
Shah has since tightened security at her home.
The police have since not been able to locate Shah’s car and are still investigating.
In July 2015, Shah was robbed during an attack outside her Irving Street home.
Shah told Stabroek News that the robbery occurred as she was about to enter her home. She said she had just returned home and left the gate open after parking her car in the garage, when two men pounced on her and demanded her handbag.
Shah said she told the men that nothing was in the handbag and they subsequently whipped out their handguns. Immediately, Shah said she handed over the bag and the men ran away with it.
Her handbag included her cellular phone and a small amount of cash. Shah said the total value of what was stolen was just over $100,000. Her bag also included her identification card and driver’s licence.