Four of the six men who police say were held with four guns after an attempted break in at Supply, East Bank Demerara on Tuesday evening had previously faced serious criminal charges and one of them used a sledgehammer to try to break down a door.
They were intercepted in a stolen motor car along the Grove Public Road, East Bank Demerara where a road block was erected following a report that they attempted to rob a Supply poultry farmer.
The suspects have been identified as Steve Hercules, 30, a taxi driver of Sisters Village, West Bank Demerara; Nabadingi Gobin, 33, a trader of Charlotte Street, Georgetown; Renard Khan, 31, a fish vendor of Cooper Street, Albouys-town; Mark Prince, 39, a taxi driver, of Parfaite Harmonie, WBD; Edward Skeete, 30, a trader of Independence Boulevard, Albouystown and Marvin Blackman, 27, a fish vendor of South Ruimveldt, Georgetown.
Among the items recovered by the police were four firearms; two 9 MM Glock pistols, one Beretta pistol and one .32 Taurus Pistol, one sledgehammer, two pairs of latex gloves, trade plates and a quantity of live rounds.
The serial numbers of two of the firearms were filed off
Stabroek News was informed that around 7.02 pm on Tuesday, the men allegedly attempted to rob poultry farmer Michael Chang Yuen, 69, a Chinese national of Supply, EBD. His house is said to be monitored by several security cameras and an alarm system.
Reports are that Yuen and his family including his two sons were at home when he heard a loud hitting against his door located on the eastern side of the house.
Upon checking, Yuen saw four men inside his yard. As a result, he raised an alarm and the men exited the yard and joined the waiting silver grey motor car, HC 4553, which was parked on the southern side of the house and they sped away.
A report was made to the police at the Grove Police station and the road block was set up which resulted in the interception of the men in the stolen car. At the time of their arrest, police say Hercules was the driver of the car and Gobin was seated in the front passenger seat. The four others were seated in the back.
In video footage seen by this newspaper, the car was seen driving into a passageway located on the northern side of Yuen’s house. The suspects were then captured scaling the fence and going straight to the eastern door of the house. Once there, one of the men hit the door with what appears to be the sledgehammer. After one hit, they were then seen hurriedly rushing out of the yard after an alarm apparently went off. The suspects then scaled the fence and re-entered the parked car, which sped away.
While all this was happening, two others were also seen in the yard. It appears as though they were keeping watch. The sixth suspect was the driver of the motor car and he did not leave the vehicle.
One of Yuen’s sons, Roger Chang Yuen related to Stabroek News that he and his family including his parents, brother and grandmother were watching television when they were alerted by a loud sound at their door. “It sounded like a gunshot when they hit the door”, Yuen said.
The men remained in custody up to press time.
A source close to the investigation informed this newspaper that as the probe continues, efforts are being made to have the weapons examined to determine their origin. All four of the weapons, this newspaper was told, appear to be new.
Stabroek News was reliably informed that at least four of the six men have previously faced criminal charges and have either been freed or are out on pretrial liberty.
Gobin and Skeete were freed two months ago of a murder charge. They were both charged with killing Ryan Clementson, who was shot near the Turning Point Snackette in Tucville in July, 2015.
The men were committed to stand trial in the High Court and were freed on February 8 after Justice Navindra Singh ruled that the state had presented insufficient evidence against them.
Blackman had previously faced five counts of armed robbery.
Prince and Khan were also charged with armed robbery.
In July 2016, the police had issued a wanted bulletin for Prince called “Fine man” for robbery under arms. He was subsequently arrested and charged with robbing pastor Eldon Anderson of $1.8 million in November, 2017.
Reports had revealed that Anderson had left his home with a large quantity of cash in his possession. He then proceeded to a city bank to make a withdrawal. After completing the transaction, he was proceeding along Church Street, Georgetown, when his vehicle was struck by a silver Toyota Spacio motor car. As a result, he stepped out of the vehicle to inspect the damage, and he was pounced upon by two armed occupants of the other car. The men relieved him of the parcel containing the money that was in his car and made good their escape.
Following the robbery, Khan along with another, La Cruz (surname) were charged and remanded to prison for the robbery.