Bandits rob GNNL retiree of jewellery, US$2,000 By Shirley Thomas
Guyana Chronicle
August 5, 2002

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ARMED bandits over the weekend made another swoop on a residential dwelling, this time robbing a retired TUCville resident of US$2,000 and a quantity of jewellery.

Piercy Roberts of 645 TUCville, a retired Production manager of the Guyana National Newspapers Limited (GNNL), who returned from the United States of America about two weeks ago, was visited on Sunday morning by two armed bandits, who demanded cash and jewellery.

According to Roberts, the bandits threatened that they would not leave until they got "all the US money" the family had, or they would kill.

The badly shaken pensioner yesterday related that it was 1:40 hours Sunday, and he had just returned from a wedding reception and was downstairs watching television, when he heard his daughter shouting from the upstairs: "Daddy, Daddy, Peter getting rob!"

Roberts said that when he ran upstairs and burst open his son's bedroom door he saw a masked man griping the bedroom windowsill with one arm, and pointing a weapon at his son with the other. The man was demanding cash.

Roberts said that his son Peter, a GUYSUCO engineer, occupies the bedroom at the north-easterly end on the building, and since the weather is hot at this time, he had slept with the window open. The man had climbed the wall and stood against the window, with his feet place in holes in the concrete wall.

The other armed man stood downstairs in the yard, apparently keeping watch.

The elder Roberts said that when the armed bandit on the window demanded money from his son, Peter went for his wallet, which contained about G$4,000 and U$20 and handed it over, but the man insisted that that could not be all. He compelled Peter to bring the US currency he knew they had, or he would shoot.

But Peter was keeping his father's money in hiding, and he told the bandits he did not have any more cash.

The father said that in the meantime, he picked up the phone and tried getting the Police on 911.

Roberts said that 911 kept ringing out, and no one would answer. He said that with his heart pounding away, he prayed to God that the Police would answer the phone.

After trying in vain for about 20 minutes to reach the Police, Roberts said that he and his daughter eventually sneaked out of the house through a back door, and ran over to a neighbour's home to get help. But even at that stage, 911 kept ringing out.

He said he could not bear to leave is son alone at the mercy of the bandits, and nervously returned to the house to see what was happening.

The elderly man said that while he was downstairs in the building he heard two shots ring out in the quiet morning, and he feared the worst.

The bandit on the window had discharged the rounds and fearlessly climbed into the bedroom where Peter was. He held the weapon to the young manís head and threatened to kill him if he did not hand over all the money.

It was at this stage, that the young engineer, fearing for his life, decided to take out the cash from where it was secluded, and handed it over.

The bandits then hastily exited the building and fled into the night.

Shortly after the gunmen left, the family got through to the Police, and two ranks arrived at the scene about 10 to 15 minutes later. They collected the spent shells and took them away.

The Roberts family expressed disappointment over the fact that it took the Police so long to answer the telephone. They said they were convinced that, had the Police responded promptly, the men would have been apprehended in the home.

"The men spent about half an hour in my home, and that should have given the Police sufficient time to get here," a distraught Piercy Roberts lamented.

The incident has dealt a devastating blow to Roberts who just recently lost a sister and brother to death in the United States of America. He is now trying to come to grips with his loss.