Jamaica: Robbery victim fearful following cops’ arrest

Victim no longer has faith in the police after four cops were held on Sunday in connection with a robbery in Hellshire, St Catherine.

(Jamaica Observer) DESPITE the arrest of four police officers in connection with a robbery in Hellshire, St Catherine, last week, the female victim says she is still terrified.

The woman and her husband reported that they were robbed twice last week of $17 million worth of jewellery, US$5,500 in cash, and other items.

“I am not safe; I am not safe,” the returned resident told the Jamaica Observer on Monday.

“I am fearful. I am a woman of God. God spared me and my life, because I don’t know why they didn’t kill us,” she continued.

Seemingly traumatised, the senior citizen, who has lost faith in the Jamaica Constabulary Force, said when one of its marked vehicles pulled up outside her house on Monday, she was afraid.

“As soon as I saw it, I saw that there was a man in there with a cap on. He didn’t look like the man (who robbed us) but he had on a cap, and that was enough to trigger me. I closed my door quickly and the phone rang. My husband answered it. A policewoman identified herself as a female in charge at Braeton… and I asked, ‘What is the reason (for the visit)?’ She said she’s checking up on us.

“So I said, ‘We are fine… I am not coming out there. I am not opening my door; we are fine’,” she said, adding that two senior police officers had visited them on Monday, one of whom advised them to keep their doors closed.

The senior citizens, who returned to Jamaica three years ago after living in the United States for more than 40 years, had been visiting relatives in Florida, United States, when a neighbour who went to water their plants noticed things amiss and informed them of the break-in at their house last week Monday. The neighbours also reported the matter to the police.

The couple, who requested anonymity, had planned to travel from Florida to New York, but cancelled that trip and returned to Jamaica last Tuesday evening.

They again reported the matter at the Hellshire Police Station last Wednesday, but things only got worse.

The elderly woman told the Observer last Thursday that when she was summoned to her door by men dressed in police uniform Wednesday night, she thought they had come to take additional statements.

However, the couple was robbed instead.

According to the woman, $17 million worth of jewellery, receipts for some of the jewellery, US$5,500, bank statements, among other things were stolen between Sunday and last Wednesday night.

She said that the jewellery stolen the Sunday night was valued at $7 million. “They emptied a drawer, everything — watches, rings, jewellery sets — then they came back for the other bag that I had secured,” she said last week.

A source told the Observer on Monday that one of the policemen who is alleged to have participated in the robbery submitted his resignation letter last Saturday and has since left the island.

In the meantime, an attorney who is representing one of the suspects told the Observer that his client is to face an identification parade later this week.

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