Cops kill two men in foiled robbery
Villagers in dramatic chase

By Desiree Jodah and Leonard Gildarie
Stabroek News
July 28, 2000

Two of three men who were allegedly attempting to break into Budhoo's General Store at Parika were shot and killed by the police yesterday after a dramatic chase through the East Bank Essequibo village.

The police have since issued a wanted bulletin for the third man, Calvin Leyoung called Calvin De Younge.

According to a press release from the police, Mark Albert and Compton Amsterdam were killed during a confrontation with police early yesterday morning. The police said they were responding to a report of break and enter and larceny which was being committed at Budhoo's General Store.

According to the police, Leyoung is also called 'Big Head' and 'Big Teeth.' He is said to be about 5' 6", weighs about 150 pounds, and of medium build. His addresses were given as Farm Village, East Bank Essequibo; Lot 19 West Ruimveldt Housing Scheme; Lot 19 Cooper Street, Albouystown and Eccles, EBD. He has a scar on his left hand.

Budhoo's General Store is flanked on the right by Citizens Bank and on the left by the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry. It is situated in the Parika Market area, close to the stelling.

Proprietor Awad Budhoo, who resides with his family on the top floor of the building, said that at about 0100 hrs, he received a phone call from a nearby resident that thieves were breaking into the back of his store. Budhoo said he called the police and a few persons living in the area.

The owner said he armed himself with his firearm and waited for the bandits to come out. He recalled that he heard someone shout, "thief, thief" and heard two shots fired as the men started running. Budhoo said he returned fire.

Budhoo said one of the men was caught and killed in a yard some distance away on the train line, while the second was shot in a trench several hundred yards in the opposite direction. The men had already removed the facing of the door at the back of the store and were ramming the door with a greenheart plank when they were disturbed. The door was partly broken open.

PPP Councillor Whittington Randolph called 'Whistle', who operates a business at Parika, said he received a call from someone who told him bandits were in the area. He said he retrieved his firearm, went downstairs and was joined by some others. According to Randolph, their strategy to apprehend the bandits was planned quietly by telephone and before long the chase started.

However, Randolph said, alerted by shouts of "thief" from other residents, the bandits jumped over the fence from Budhoo's store, running in a northerly direction.

Residents said the men, in their haste to escape, broke down parts of two fences until they came to a side street where they headed in an easterly direction with a group of residents close behind. Two of the men continued running east, while the third, who had decided to hide in some bushes took off when he was found by a resident. The resident told Stabroek News that the man had been crawling on his stomach, but on encountering him, the man got to his feet, swerved south and continued running.

By then, residents were joined by members of the Leonora Impact and they divided themselves in two groups, one going east and the other south.

One of the two men who had run in an easterly direction had reportedly lived at Parika for a while. He escaped. However, the second man was not so lucky. He was cornered in the drain of a yard by the train line, and, according to the police, was killed in the confrontation.

Meanwhile, the man who had run south, sought refuge in a nearby trench after he was trapped by police and residents, some of whom were now mobile, and three of whom were licensed firearm holders. One eyewitness said that the police had a spotlight and soon saw the man who had apparently been hiding under a bridge. He was also killed in the confrontation.

Stabroek News understands that from information received, the man who escaped and was recognised by villagers, had hired a route 31 mini-bus and had picked up the other two men at Eccles, East Bank Demerara before proceeding to Parika. According to residents, the driver escaped during the confusion.

Another resident said that one of the men had visited a house near the train line during Wednesday. The man, according to the resident, went to the house and enquired from the woman living there if her son, who works in the interior, was at home. The woman reportedly spoke harshly to the man and he left.

Another eyewitness, who also asked not to be named, told this newspaper that he heard a sound at about 1230 hrs. He said he looked around but did not see anything. According to the eyewitness, after the sound continued, he decided to stand on a chair and peer into Budhoo's compound. The man said he saw a man tie something on his head and crawl on his stomach looking towards the public road. He said he continued to look and saw a man wearing a red jersey doing the same thing. The eyewitness said he became suspicious and notified his employer, who called Budhoo.

Randolph said it was the quick action of the residents that prevented the store from being broken into. However, he complained that of the 20 businessmen at Parika, only three are licensed firearm holders. He called on the Minister of Home Affairs and the Commissioner of Police to issue firearm licences to the other businessmen who have applied for same.

The PPP councillor would also like police to do something about what he called the "large number of strange people," walking the streets of Parika during the nights, sleeping on vendors' stalls, smoking dope and stealing. According to Randolph, these persons do not live in the area and the police know this. He is suggesting a patrol after 2000 hrs and the detention of anyone who cannot give a reasonable explanation for being there.

Budhoo's General Store, which sells a wide variety of haberdashery and other hardware items, was open for business yesterday.

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