Gunmen blitz Camp Street jewellers
Cash, jewels taken
Stabroek News
July 19, 2002

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In a five-minute heist last night, three heavily armed bandits stormed Baksh Jewellery Establishment on Camp Street and robbed its owner of some $65,000 in cash and jewellery before driving off in a white Carina.

Shortly after the bandits fled, a jeep load of armed ranks of the Police Target Special Squad (TSS) arrived on the scene. When told that the bandits had already departed, they immediately went after the trio who made their escape in the direction of Middle Street.

When this newspaper visited the scene a small crowd had gathered outside the 197 Camp Street store and the proprietor, two employees and a few `limers' who were there at the time of the robbery were recounting the ordeal.

Tariq Baksh, an employee at the business, said that they had already finished working for the day and were about to close up, at about 2000 hrs when a white Carina - PHH 5311 - drove up. Baksh said all three attackers were armed with AK 47 weapons. According to Baksh, when the men pulled up at the store, he, one of his colleagues, his manager and a few men who were hanging out at the shop were ordered to lie face down. All three of the men aimed guns at their heads.

He said that he dived under a wooden bench and hid. The men asked his manager where the boss was, Baksh related and he responded that the boss had already left. The men searched him and found $60,000 in his pocket. They also removed a few pieces of his jewellery and lashed him about his head. He said he heard the bandits demand more jewellery and money from his manager, who said that he had no more. "We are all sufferers hustling we lil dollar, we ain't get no mo gold."

Leaving Baksh's manager the men then turned their attention to the `limers' on the ground. One of them, who preferred to remain anonymous, told this newspaper that he was urinating at the corner of the store when he saw the car drive up. The man said that he was about to run but when he saw the men's guns he quickly complied with their order to lie face down. According to him, while lying down he raised his head and his eyes locked with one of the bandits' who told him using expletives not to look at him.

The young man said that the bandits stripped him of his gold chain and pendant and a finger ring. Some of the other men who were there were also stripped of their jewellery.

The bandits also checked the pockets of all of the men asking for guns and money. Baksh said that when they realised that there was nothing more for them to take, one of them called on his accomplices to execute the manager and one of the `limers'. But the manager pleaded with them. He said the driver of the car then urged them to leave and they did, speeding off in the direction of Middle Street.

He said that earlier in the day they had sent away a quantity of jewellery that they had already prepared. He was grateful that no lives were lost in the robbery.

Baksh Jewellery Establishment opened some two years ago and creates and designs gold and diamond jewellery. The manager said that he was not afraid to continue his business but admitted that there was need for him to take more precautions.

It is believed that the gunmen were the same ones who were involved in Saturday's robbery of money-changers on America Street.