Two shot in latest bandits attack in city
-- businessman, wife also reported injured
Guyana Chronicle
May 4, 2002

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TWO guards from a security service were shot late yesterday afternoon when they went to the rescue of a city businessman who was under attack by bandits.

Wounded are Alvin Weekes, 45, of 161 Curtis and James streets, Albouystown, Georgetown, who was shot below his left knee, and on his right thigh, and Mark Barlow, 32, of 63 Norton Street, Georgetown, who was shot in his right thigh.

Both men were reported in stable condition after emergency surgery at the Georgetown Hospital last night.

The men, employed with Advance Security Services of Georgetown, were wounded in a shootout with bandits who had attacked businessman Patrick Seebarran and his wife as they were entering their home at Stone Avenue, Campbellville, at around 17:45 hours, witnesses said.

Seebarran owns the popular Patsans business firm at Sheriff and John Smith streets, not far from his home.

Reports said he and his wife were injured and had to receive medical attention. It was not clear how seriously injured they were.

The bandits drove up behind and attacked Seebarran as he was about to enter his yard, witnesses said.

But shortly after the bandits struck, the security service vehicle with armed guards drove up and went to his rescue.

The two guards from the patrol unit were shot as the bandits, who were heavily armed, opened fire on the vehicle.

An eyewitness said that as the bandits, about three or four, cornered the businessman and proceeded to rob him, the Advance Security Services patrol opened fire.

The gang sought shelter behind cargo containers in the businessman's yard and then followed frequent exchanges of gunfire between the bandits and the security guards.

During the sudden standoff, a young woman who was passing was held by one of the men who used her as a human shield in their bid to escape, the witness said.

The young woman was released as the bandits fled in a car that had apparently been hijacked, reports said.

The left front door of the Advance Security Services patrol vehicle had several bullet holes, and the front windscreen was also hit by bullets.

After they sped away, the robbers abandoned their vehicle and hijacked another near Stone Avenue and Second Street, Campbelleville, witnesses said.

Shots were also fired and unconfirmed reports said one person was also wounded in the second attack.

The other car which the gang abandoned was later taken away by the Police.

Yesterday's attack was the latest in a series of daring robberies in and around Georgetown since the armed and dangerous gang of five escaped from the Georgetown jail on February 23 last.

Sources said the five may have been involved in yesterday's attack and hijacks which fit the pattern of previous robberies Police have linked the gang of five with.

Police Commissioner, Mr. Floyd McDonald, Thursday appealed to the public to be patient as the intensive search continued for the gang.

"We are conscious of the societal anxiety over our inability to recapture the five", he told a news conference at Police headquarters.

"We are asking members of the public and the press to be patient with us. We are very much concerned that those men are still at large", the Commissioner said.

He added: "We are working overtime to deal with the situation. All we ask of you is to bear with us. We do not want to make mistakes."

"Law and order must and will prevail", he stressed, thanking the public for its understanding.

He declined to go into details of the search operation saying this could compromise the security of the Police Force.

McDonald believes the gang is being supported by person or persons living either on the East Coast Demerara or the East Bank Demerara.

Police, backed by the Army in the intensive hunt for the killer gang, last week said a gang member was in a shooting spree in an East Coast Demerara village Friday night.

Police said Shawn Brown was involved in the shooting of two persons in Friendship and they were investigating.

The two were treated for gunshot wounds at the Georgetown Hospital and discharged, Police said.

Police are offering a $10M reward for information leading to their recapture.

The five escapees - Troy Dick, Dale Moore, Andrew Douglas, Mark Fraser and Brown - have been linked to several car hijackings and robberies since their daring daylight escape from the Georgetown Prison.

Police said the gang was involved in the killing of well-known anti-crime fighter, Police Superintendent Leon Fraser on April 2 when he and other cops closed in on a car partly hidden in a clump of bushes at Yarowkabra on the Linden/Soesdyke highway.

Fraser, shot in the head, was the second murder victim of the band which also killed Prison Officer Troy Williams, 21, when it broke out of the Georgetown jail.

One of the five also shot Woman Prison Officer, Roxanne Whinfield, 36, in the head as they fled and she remains in critical condition at a medical institution overseas.

There has been an escalation in criminal activities in and around Georgetown and specific areas along the East Coast Demerara since the dramatic escape by the prisoners.