Businesswoman bound, gagged
Stabroek News
July 26, 2002

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Bandits yesterday morning broke into the home of a 61-year-old businesswoman, tied her up and escaped in her car with gold jewellery, two electrical appliances and $120,000 cash.

Myrthleen Lee-Bing, her 11-year-old grandson and a six-year-old great-grandson were asleep in the lower flat of the Lot 36 John Street, Lodge house at about 3:30 a.m., when at least two bandits broke in, terrorised them, stripped the woman of her gold rings, including her wedding band and left with the cash, a microwave oven and a VCR. Her car, PEE 3361, was still missing up to press time.

The woman told Stabroek News yesterday that she and the boys were asleep on one bed, when she heard a noise inside the house.

Before she could have raised her head, a gun was placed to her temple and someone commanded her to turn face down. Mrs Lee-Bing complied and was next told to place her hands behind her back. The bandits taped her hands and stuffed a pillowcase into her mouth and taped it up.

“They tumble up the whole place... pull off all me rings and carry away all de li’l money ah had,” the woman lamented. She could not ascertain how many men had invaded her home.

Not satisfied with the takings, the woman said, the men threatened to kill her if she did not provide more money. Her great-grandson had, by then, opened his eyes and was told not to make any noise.

“The man [bandit] say, `Don’t mek no noise. Ah only come fo rob she!’ and he [the child] close back his eyes,” the woman recounted. One of the bandits had placed a pillow over the woman’s face and appeared to be suffocating her. Upon seeing this, the 11-year-old placed his hand over the mouth of his younger cousin, “so that if he [the bandit] put a pillow over the li’l one mouth, he [the 11-year-old] would lift he hand for him to he wouldn’t die,” Mrs Lee-Bing recounted.

The older of the two boys said one of the bandits wore a dark coloured pair of trousers and had a cloth tied around the lower part of his face. The assailants also wore gloves.

After the men ransacked her home, Mrs Lee-Bing said there was silence, but when she attempted to lift her head, someone leaned very close to her ear and whispered, “Yuh better tell me whey de rest of money deh!” The whisperer threatened to kill her, but after a while, the bandits gave up the quest and left the house. The woman said she heard a car drive off, but never suspected that they had taken her Toyota Sprinter. When some time had elapsed, she motioned to the boys to untie her. She then instructed one of them to seek help.

Mrs Lee-Bing imports `Kiss’ cakes from Trinidad, which she sells to businesses here. The night before the attack, she had taken the money that the bandits stole to someone who was returning to the twin-island republic, to conduct her business. But she was asked to convert the cash in TT currency, instead, and this caused her to return home with the money.

“This never happen to me before. Everyday I go out to do my little business at Bourda Market. Sometimes I have to go and collect money or goods,” said the mother of eight.