Police in Region Ten have launched a hunt for suspects in the break in at the Wismar Post Office that resulted in a fire, Commander of ‘E’ Division Superintendent of Police Anthony Vanderhyden said yesterday.
Vanderhyden yesterday confirmed that police are investigating Thursday morning’s fire as part of a break and enter and a suspected attempt to commit a felony. The Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) has said that all cash that was in the building has been accounted for in wake of the incident.
On Thursday morning, around 4.08 am, a passerby alerted police at the Wismar Police Station to the fire. The ranks on duty immediately made contact with the Linden Fire Station, which responded promptly and managed to extinguish the fire.
After the fire was put out, fire investigators observed that a window and grill had been ripped out. They also found that a metal safe, which was attached to the northern wall, had also been ripped out and was resting in front of the broken window and grillwork inside the building. A police source pointed out that the top surface area of the safe was torched but not opened.
Meanwhile, the GPOC yesterday said the Wismar Post Office has been closed for urgent repairs as a result of the fire damage.
In a statement issued yesterday, the GPOC said several armed bandits broke into the post office, sometime after 4 am on Thursday, by cutting a protective grill and breaking a window on the northern side of the building. Fortunately, it added, other layers of security that were previously installed to safeguard the assets of the GPOC, successfully prevented the thieves from removing cash from the building. “GPOC wishes to inform the public that all liquid assets present in the building have been accounted for,” it further said.
However, as a result of the fire, the GPOC did report damage to its fixed assets, including furniture, walls, counters and flooring. As a result, it explained, it has been forced to close the office for a short period, during which the repairs will be made to render the building habitable for staff and its customers in Linden.
In light of the situation, the GPOC said manpower and facilities at the Mackenzie Post Office have been reinforced to effectively manage the increased customer traffic that is expected due to the Wismar closure.
The GPOC statement also expressed the Corporation’s gratitude to nearby residents who helped to avert the potential disaster that could have been caused by the fire. “We are grateful for the intervention and the continuing work of the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Fire Service who were swift in their response,” it added, while also welcoming the efforts of the Regional Chairman Renis Morian and regional councillors for their efforts to ensure that the rehabilitation of the post office includes stronger security measures.
Looking ahead, the GPOC said it envisions a working collaboration among the Corporation, the Police Force’s ‘E’ Division and Region 10 officials that will achieve what it has been implementing in post offices around the country. “GPOC takes this opportunity to assure our customers in Wismar, Mackenzie and the wider Linden community that the Guyana Post Office Corporation has already begun to reform the postal culture in the country, transforming the services we have traditionally offered into modernised services which include Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities,” it said.