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The gunmen discharged several rounds outside the house, broke open window bars and shattered windowpanes and, 20 minutes later, made off with jewellery and an undisclosed sum of cash.
During the ordeal, the bandits entered the home by kicking at the window bars and using pieces of greenheart wood planks to break them down. They then held guns to the heads of a woman, her 12 and 13-year-old daughters, and her 23-year-old nephew, demanding cash.
The nephew was also beaten with a baseball bat for not revealing where the money was.
Relating the horrific incident, businesswoman, Ms. Marilyn Converty, who sells beverages outside the Stabroek Market, said that around 02:30 hrs, she was awakened by the sounds of what seemed like persons pelting on her roof. Her husband, Richard Small, who also runs the beverage business outside Stabroek Market, had not yet returned home, and her two daughters were asleep.
The woman said she immediately called out to her nephew, "Irving, Irving, somebody pelting on the house!"
But before she could get out of bed, she heard the heavy sounds of footsteps on the stairs. The bandits then began ramming the door with a plank to gain entry into the building. They did not succeed for the door was constructed of solid purpleheart wood.
Ms. Converty then heard the frustrated men "sucking" their teeth and using indecent language. Seconds later, the men began discharging random shots outside the house, possibly to keep neighbours at bay.
After beating away at the door for some time without success, one of men climbed onto a nearby window, shattered the panes with the plank, then kicked the safety bars down.
The bandit jumped into the house as Converty's nephew, Irving, was coming out of a bedroom. Cursing freely, the bandit ordered the young man to lie on the floor. He then, detached a fluorescent bulb, and attempted to open the door to admit the other gunmen.
But, as he was unable to open the door, he ordered the hapless young man to get up and open it.
Another of the bandits went into Converty's room where she and her daughters were huddled on the bed, and began demanding money and jewellery.
The bandit then held a gun to Converty's head and threatened her saying: "You does wear all dem...jewels, whey de jewels deh?"
The Festival City house, which was invaded by gun-toting bandits yesterday morning. (Picture by Corwin Williams)
Converty pleaded with the men that she did not have anything and that they should go away. But a third man looked at her two daughters aged 12 and 13 crouched on the bed behind her and in a cold voice, ordered, "Shoot she...children and you gon see - money gon come!"
Then one of the bandits slapped Converty hard and demanded that she should turn over the money and jewels. Fearful for their lives, the woman then got up and handed over a bag containing items of jewellery and about $50,000.
The men hastily looked at the cash and decided that it was not enough and called for more. In the meantime, a third robber in the living room, began beating the woman's nephew with a baseball bat because he would not say where the money was.
The intruders ransacked the house, and found her wardrobe locked. They ordered her to open it, but in the frenzy she could not even find the keys, Converty recounted.
Within seconds, one of the bandits broke the door of the wardrobe using only his hands. He ransacked the wardrobe and found more money, which he took into his possession, but still demanded more.
The businesswoman said that this made her really outraged and she began 'cussing' the bandits and they 'cussed' back. They eventually left after spending about 20 minutes in the home. It was then Converty telephoned her husband, who was at work.
Some of Converty's neighbours had rung for the Police after hearing gunshots.
The beleaguered woman said that although the Police responded in good time, the men had already fled. The Police combed the North Ruimveldt area, and shortly afterward, suspects were pursued.
A shootout ensued, and reports say that one man was shot and wounded in Nutmeg Street around 04:00 hrs.
The occupants of the home said that recently they had accommodated some overseas relatives.
However, the guests had left about a week ago.