Bandits continue East Coast rampage
Guyana Chronicle
September 7, 2002

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AS BANDITS continue their rampage on the East Coast Demerara, two more business places came under daring daylight robbery attacks yesterday from gunmen moving around in a bronze-coloured motorcar.

And for the first time probably, villagers in one of the places robbed, were happy that they were experiencing a 'black out' (power outage) at the time.

Witnesses said it was due to this outage that a cash machine at a Guyana Lottery Company booth that was robbed, was not operated for the morning, or losses would have been greater.

The first robbery attack was on Annaraude's Lumber Yard, Coldingen, at around 10:15 hrs, where proprietor Deonarine Annaraude, 34, and Tooaram Gaj, 28, an employee of Toolsie Persaud's Anarika Forest Industries Ltd., were robbed of cash and jewellery.

The second place robbed was a Lotto booth at Mon Repos, at around 13:30 hrs, either by the same group of men, or gunmen believed to be using the same car, witnesses said.

In the first attack, about three armed men in a bronze car pulled up opposite the Annaraude Lumber Yard, got out and walked into the yard where proprietor Annaraude and about three employees were overseeing lumber being offloaded at the premises from one of Toolsie Persaud's lumber trucks.

The bandits reportedly fired into the air, frightening onlookers into diving for cover. They then restrained and robbed Annaraude and a `checker' on the truck.

Both men were robbed of cash, jewellery and cellular telephones.

Annaraude was robbed of $12,000; a gold chain valued at $50,000; a gold band - $50,000; a gold ring - $25,000; and a cellular telephone - valued US$300.

Gaj was robbed of a cellular telephone valued at $45,000, a watch valued $3,000 and a gold ring valued $8,000.

After the robbery, the bandits reportedly got back into the car which bore no number plate and headed in a westerly direction, witnesses said.

Meanwhile, management employees of the Lotto booth at Mon Repos reported that around 13:30 hrs a bronze car with number plate marked `Akbar 1', drove up in front of the booth.

Four men were in the car which the driver parked behind a `Red Square' van. One of them got out, walked into the shop housing the Lotto booth and pointed a weapon at a female employee.

Witnesses said he ordered her not to move, but to take off her jewels and hand them over. After relieving the woman of her gold earrings and finger ring, he opened up the shop drawers and took away an undisclosed amount of cash.

The woman explained that the cash taken was her day's sales from a snackette operated on the premises. She was unable to say how much money was in the drawer, but indicated that she had some cash with her even before commencing sales for the day.

The terrified woman who said there was one female customer with her in the shop and about three others outside, told the Chronicle that she complied with the bandit's instructions since she was afraid he would shoot.

Owners of business places in the area recalled that over the past few days they had observed suspicious looking persons lurking around, and ever since they have been feeling very insecure and uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, persons at Coldingen claimed that some time after noon, a car believed to be the same one which had transported the robbers, sped past the lumber yard, heading east. This gave rise to suspicions that it was the same group of men that had gone down to Mon Repos, committed another robbery and moved higher up the East Coast.