Armed bandits hold up group outside home
Quantity of cash, jewellery taken By Kim Lucas
Stabroek News
June 16, 2002

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Two police officers and two overseas-based Guyanese were among six people held up by bandits early yesterday morning and robbed of a quantity of gold jewellery and cash.

The incident occurred at about 0245 hrs, in front of Lot 460 North/East La Penitence, Georgetown, just as the six pulled up in a Route 42 minibus, BHH 4032.

Reports reaching Stabroek News state that the bus, nicknamed ĎAl Caponeí, was being driven by Police Sergeant Thomas Noble, of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Head-quarters, Eve Leary.

Others in the vehicle at the time were US-based Patsy Johnson, 50; her sister, Pamela Wills, 33; their brother, Oswald Clarke, who is visiting from England, and his daughter, Omefa Cambridge, 31; as well as, Woman Lance Corporal Dick. The group had just returned from a party.

When this newspaper visited the house yesterday, Cambridge explained that as the bus was about to stop in front of the house, a man was seen walking away. She said they did not pay too much attention to the man, but before they could have disembarked, she said, she spotted the man returning with two others. This time, he and his accomplices wore masks.

"I look through the window and I shout, `Gunman coming!í but they run up to the bus and said, `Donít mek no noise...you all strip!í," Cambridge stated. She and the policewoman were sitting in the front passenger seats of the bus.

According to the young woman, one of the bandits pointed a black and silver gun through the bus window at her, but she pushed his hand away and coaxed: "You all donít hurt nobody. Take what you want and go along you way."

Cambridge said the bandit appeared to be flustered, but another one appeared at the window and started snatching her gold bracelets off her wrist. The quick-thinking young woman said that all the while, she kept her other arm out of sight so that the bandits could not see the rest of jewellery she wore.

As a result, they only made off with about four gold finger rings and two bracelets that were on her left hand. She estimated her loss to be about $47,000.

Meanwhile, the other attacker was pulling the other three persons out of the bus and stripping them of their jewellery and cash. Cambridgeís aunt, Pamela Wills, told this newspaper that she heard one of the bandits commanding one of his accomplices to "Check she [Pamela] good." They even took off her shoes, but when their search came up empty, the woman said, one of the attackers pushed his hand into the front of her pants to conduct a more thorough search.

While the banditsí attention was somewhat diverted, Cambridge said, she started pulling off her other items of jewellery and dropping them to the floor of the vehicle, while using her feet to kick them out of sight.

Johnson said she was relieved of three gold bracelets worth a total of about $90,000 and four gold finger rings valued $36,000. Luckily for her, the woman said her wedding band and a diamond ring were stuck, so the bandits ignored them after a while. Johnson and Clarke are expected to leave Guyana on Tuesday. The siblings had reportedly returned here on business.

Noble, on the other hand, said he was robbed of $35,000 and his bus keys. He surmised that the bandits took the keys to ensure that they would not be followed. He and the women, with the exception of Cambridge and the policewoman, were taken out of the minibus and ordered to lie face down on the road for about 15 minutes.

During the ordeal, Johnsonís daughter, who was at home at the time with her husband, heard the bus stop and was just opening the door to let the party in, when she noticed the hold up. Cambridge said they shouted to alert her and the young woman subsequently retreated and tried unsuccessfully to contact the police by telephone.

After the assault, the bandits calmly walked up the road and vanished through one of the yards.

The attack occurred just opposite the Uprising Taxi Service, but according to one report, "someone just peeped out and went back inside."