Bandits may have been hiding in civil aviation office
Stabroek News
May 7, 2002

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While the police were busy firing shots at the Preminaranjan Place, Prashad Nagar home, believed to be a safe haven for a group of bandits, the wanted men might have been hiding out in the building next door.

Stabroek News was reliably informed that two live rounds, a shotgun casing and a quantity of spent shells were found early Sunday morning in the office of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

According to the source, someone went to the office and found the glass door to the front of the building shattered and the locks on the grill door broken off. The building is to the east of the house that was under siege on Saturday night. When this newspaper visited the office yesterday morning, the double glass door was, in fact, shattered, but the Director General of the GCAA refused to comment until after the police have completed their investigation.

The police, on Sunday, said the bandits escaped after firing a hail of bullets as law enforcement officers approached. Stabroek News understands that there are reports that the bandits fled through Campbellville Housing Scheme, a ward adjacent to Prashad Nagar. The police said one woman reportedly found a bulletproof vest and an AK-47 in her yard some time before 2130 hrs on Saturday, just around the time the police were pulling out of the Prashad Nagar area after an almost four-hour standoff. According to reports, the woman later handed over the items to a man, whom she claimed, was dressed as a policeman. Stabroek News understands that no member of the force has reported uplifting either the gun or the vest from the woman.

Meanwhile, the police are still hunting for the group of bandits, who, they believe, were occupying a house at 3024 North Ruimveldt, Georgetown, after Friday's robbery at the Stone Avenue, Campbellville home of Patrick and Gina Seebaran. The police stormed that house Saturday morning and removed several items. A deportee, who lives there, turned himself over to the police later that day.

Stabroek News has also received unconfirmed reports that the police raided homes at John Street Campbellville and Thomas Street, Kitty on Saturday afternoon, in their quest to flush out the wanted men. But by evening on Saturday, the police received a tip off that the suspected bandits were hiding out in the Prashad Nagar house. Althea Carto, the young mother of one who occupies the lower flat of the Prashad Nagar house, denied reports that anyone was occupying the upper flat.

But when Stabroek News and other persons inspected the upper flat after the standoff on Saturday night, there were signs that the place was recently occupied. Some of the items found included copies of Saturday's newspapers, boxes containing seemingly fresh food, a half carton of Heineken beer and men's clothing.