Bandits invade Bourda Post Office
--Employees, pensioners terrified
Guyana Chronicle
October 16, 2002

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BANDITS yesterday morning invaded the Bourda Post Office carting off an undisclosed amount of cash and leaving workers, pensioners and other persons terrified.

About three bandits attacked the Post Office shortly before 08:00 hours, officials said, and within minutes reportedly ran from the scene with the loot.

No one was injured.

However, several persons waiting to do business were reportedly robbed and ordered to lie on the floor.

Giving an account of what transpired, Assistant Post Master General Mr. Leon Dickson said one of the men approached a teller/counter clerk giving an impression that he wanted to conduct business. Another immediately jumped onto the counter firing shots and demanding money.

Dickson said the staff, predominantly women, was left in shock as the bandit grabbed bundles of cash, stamps and phone cards.

The bandit reportedly left the interior section of the facility by jumping over the counter, by which time two staff members were attempting to escape through the side door. To their dismay, the workers came face-to-face with another bandit outside.

The doors to the Post Office were subsequently closed trapping persons inside. They were ordered to lie on the floor.

Dickson could not have given an estimate of how much money the robbers had carted off, and efforts by the Chronicle to reach officials of the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) later in the day proved futile.

Gregory Frank, a clerk employed at a law firm, was standing at the counter registering a letter when one of the bandits pounced on him.

He told the Chronicle that he was writing the return address on his letter when he heard shots ringing out. Upon turning around, he said, he saw a young man jumping over the counter with a gun in his hand.

Frank related that he hadn't much time to observe anything more since a gun was then placed to his head and he was ordered not to move.

Frank said he was relieved of two rings and his wedding band and was also told to empty his pockets. He hadn't any money. He was then ordered by the bandit to "hit the floor".

He said there were about seven persons, including pensioners, conducting business in the Post Office. Frank added that he was shaking with shock and fear, and did not take in much.

He recalled, though, that persons within the facility were screaming.

Elderly persons usually collect their pensions and cash their National Insurance Scheme (NIS) vouchers at Post Offices throughout the country.

Several concerns were raised yesterday about the lack of security personnel at the Bourda Post Office.

The Chronicle understands that persons selling in booths along Orange Walk heard the shots and ran for cover. One woman later reported that she ran from the scene leaving her stall and goods.