Three persons were arrested yesterday in connection with the armed robbery of a Corentyne supermarket that left the owner, a pregnant woman and several residents all brutalised.
Supermarket owner Dewan Ramdeo, 33, of Lot 37 Number 19 Village, Corentyne, was robbed of $650,000 in cash and $50,000 worth of phone cards in the attack, which was carried out on Wednesday evening.
One of the three was detained for questioning on Wednesday evening, while two others were detained yesterday.
The men are from Savannah Park, New Amsterdam, and Adelphi Village, East Canje, Berbice.
According to Ramdeo, around 7.30 pm, five masked men, armed with three guns and two cutlasses, invaded his supermarket.
He was present with several customers at the time. “One individual come up with a gun and tell we get down, this is a stick up,” he recounted to Stabroek News.
According to the man, his daughter, 16, then attempted to escape when the men shouted that they would shoot her if she ran. “Them bring in all body and put them to lie down. When you try raise up, them a kick you in you head to put it down,” he added.
Ramdeo noted that he then heard the men entering the upper flat of his house, where a relative, who is five months pregnant, was sleeping. “Two a them went in the shop with we and me na see none a them by the gate but me hear me family wah deh upstairs a holla,” he said.
Ramdeo said it was at this point that he decided to make a run for it, since he saw no perpetrator at the gate. “One a them appear so fast and he try grabble me pon my shirt and he pelt the cutlass and it catch me from me neck, back and me still continue to run and the shirt tear out,” he recalled. “When me reach pon the street, me see me neighbour and me tell he thiefman and he take the other street and run out, then one (bandit) start run behind he and one run behind me. When me reach me back neighbour, me tell the lady bring the cutlass and me run pass she and he (bandit) end up face to face with she and he take way she phone and beat she. But me run through the back and call them boys at the back,” he added.
Ramdeo noted that he returned with a few of residents and he saw one bandit holding one of his neighbours to the ground. “When he see abie come, he start holla and tell the rest to get out. One run by the gate and me find one bottle and me pelt he in he back and he tell the other one, ‘Them a pelt bottle!’ Then one inside shout and say start shoot and them start shoot but abie run behind the truck and hide,” he further related.
The bandits, who had arrived on a stolen bicycle, made good their escape on foot. A pair of gloves and a black hat were found near the supermarket after residents searched the surrounding area.
Later, Ramdeo was told by his daughter that after he escaped, one of the bandits took her to the cash register, where he then demanded money. “When one come downstairs, he tell them bring the boss now and them say the boss escape and he start fight them-
‘How ayo make the boss escape!’—and then them pick up me daughter and pressure she for the money,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ramdeo’s pregnant relative, Shamwattie Inderjeet, 39, who recently returned from a vacation in America, explained that she was sleeping upstairs when two bandits entered. “I just hear one voice say, ‘Ay, get up.’ And I watch and see a young, skinny person and he get a green rag on he face and a cutlass in he hand and when I go to get up he hit me—one cutlass in my head—and I go run and he hit me again,” she said.
The woman explained that the bandit ripped her clothes and then started to kick and beat her about her body, although she repeatedly told him that she was pregnant and begged for her life. “I asking he why he beating me, ‘What you want?’ Because he never said he is a bandit. He hold me from my hair and drag me back to the room and then start broadside me and say, ‘Give me all the money! I come for the money!’ And then he take me to the living room and start beat me with he hand, then he grab the gun from the next one and lash me in my neck back,” Inderjeet added.
According to Ramdeo, at this point the woman said she began to lose consciousness. She said, “My head, all inside here, soft, soft and he tell me go in the room and give he all the money and the other [one] tell he like me na got anything, let he na beat me na more.”
The woman then ran into a room, where she hid. “Them start cuss, say them go kill everybody,” she added.
The men stole US$1,000, GY$15,000, four gold chains worth over $250,000 and three gold rings worth over $50,000, which belonged to Inderjeet and her two children.
The woman’s 19-year-old son sustained injuries to his face after he began to shout when he heard his mother screaming.
Additionally, several residents were beaten about their bodies and robbed of cellphones and jewellery.
They were all taken to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital on Wednesday night. They were treated and discharged.
Some of the residents present on Wednesday evening were later involved in a heated argument with a few police officers who responded. One resident noted that they noticed a man wearing plain clothes in the back of one of the police vehicles. “We start to question if that was a bandit or a police and them telling we, ‘move, move,’” a female resident said yesterday. An argument then ensued and a resident was reportedly pushed. However, after tempers flared, Deputy Commander of ‘B’ Division Wayne Dehearte, who was present, reportedly calmed the situation.