Bandits continuing hijacking rampage
Car used in crimes found abandoned
Stabroek News
May 31, 2002

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Bandits struck twice in the city early yesterday morning, hijacking two cars and leaving behind a gold Carina which was used during two recent robberies.

Reports reaching Stabroek News yesterday stated that the first attack occurred at about 0545 hrs in Craig Street, Campbellville, while Cuthbert Europe, a former policeman, was parking his car, a white Carina, PGG 7801. The father of four said a gold car drove up alongside him, and two men armed with guns disembarked and ordered him to get out of his car, hand over the keys and "run!".

The 38-year-old Europe said he complied and the men sped away in his car, in the direction of Sheriff Street, with the gold car following.

He said the bandits did not use their guns to threaten him. Europe said although only two approached him, there were other men in the gold car.

Then, 15 minutes later, a taxi driver employed with Legem Taxi Service, reported that his vehicle, too, was hijacked while he was heading into the Sophia area. According to reports reaching this newspaper, Andre Matthews, who has been employed with the taxi service for less than a month, was driving HA 8866, when he noticed two cars blocking the roadway.

One of the cars was the gold Carina which had been used in the attack on Europe and the other, white. The police said the bandits relieved the 29-year-old driver of his car and sped away leaving the gold Carina behind.

Just recently, a 26-year-old New York-based Guyanese reported that he had been robbed at gunpoint by two young men, who also hijacked his gold Carina, HA 9279. On May 20, the same car was spotted at the scene of two robberies.

One of the robbery victims, Ramesh Persaud - whose brother and sister-in-law were slain at their Annandale home on the East Coast Demerara - reported seeing the bandits escaping in a gold car after robbing him of $2 million in cash and jewellery at his Mon Repos home, also on the East Coast.

Then later that day, the same gold car was used as the getaway vehicle from the scene of another crime. Reports indicate that three men pulled up in the car at Lambert Electronics and Electrical Contracting Services in Charlotte Street, Lacytown, and carted off some $600,000 in local and United States currency.

The police had suspected that it was the same car, hijacked the day before the robberies, from 26-year-old Lionel Narine.

Narine had told this newspaper that his car was stolen from him at gunpoint on May 19, after he had picked up two passengers on Mandela Avenue and taken them to Toucan Drive in South Ruimveldt Gardens in the city. Some time yesterday afternoon, the police reported finding Europe's car abandoned in the vicinity of Buxton, East Coast Demerara. On Saturday last, a car belonging to BC Cabs was found abandoned at Coldingen on East Coast Demerara, and the driver, Colin Lovell, was missing. Lovell was last heard from just after midnight Friday and up to press time last night, he was still reported missing.

Reports coming out of the Police Public Relations office stated that the bandits seem to be involved in a car swapping exercise. "So while we are looking for one car, they would have already moved on to another," the official stated.

Since the escape of five men from the Camp Street prison on February 23, there have been dozens of car hijackings. The cars have later been used as getaway vehicles during the commission of crimes.