Guyhoc Park family terrorised, robbed by gun-toting bandits
Stabroek News
August 1, 2002

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One of two men who broke into Suzette Sydney's Guyhoc Park home on Tuesday morning might have been an ex-classmate and, from all indications, that was what saved her from grievous harm.

She was not, however, spared the harassment, at the end of which the two armed and masked bandits, sporting bulletproof vests with a 'Police' emblem, carted off close to $23,000 cash, a quantity of gold jewellery, clothing and footwear.

The 28-year-old Sydney told Stabroek News that the men broke into the house sometime around 3.30 am on Tuesday, after they might have sprayed a noxious substance to cast the household into deeper sleep. At the time of the attack, Sydney and her two children - Shane, 11 and Shampa, 4 - were asleep in one of the bedrooms, while her cousin, 37-year-old Colleen Johnson and her 11-year-old son, Delon, were asleep in another. In the sitting room were Sydney's brother, Shawn Sydney, 29, her 22-year-old cousin, Michael Tim and Johnson's 20-year-old son, Jermaine James.

Sydney told this newspaper that one of the two attackers woke and informed her that he had received a tip off that the family had collected a quantity of United States currency and a barrel on Monday. Thinking that she was dreaming, the young woman claimed that she turned away from the person, but was pulled back by her hair.

"The person grab meh hair and swing 'round me head to his direction and say, 'Get up, get up'...He shine de torchlight in my face and say, 'I know yuh face. Oh shucks, me and this girl go to school!'" Sydney recounted.

Again the assailant asked for the money and following her directions, began to ransack the wardrobe. At that stage, another bandit entered the bedroom and joined the search and when he turned up empty-handed, started to verbally abuse her.

"Girl, you mekking me a so and so," the bandit told Sydney. He then placed the gun to her head, relenting only after she gave specific direction to one of her skirts where the money was hidden.

After the men left her room, they went next to harass Johnson.

"They came in back to the room and ask, 'Yuh cousin got money or gold?' I say me ain't know...'You ain't got gold?' I say no," Sydney recounted.

Seeing her two children asleep nearby, the bandits began to question her about their jewellery.

"These two children is not you children? They don't wear gold?" one bandit asked. So Sydney went to the top of her wardrobe where she kept the jewellery and handed over all to the masked gunman.

"He bring de gun behind me head and say, 'I don't like people lie to me. This is more than two ring.'," the woman recalled being told. In the bag she handed over were four gold finger rings, two pairs of earrings and a gold band bearing the name of her daughter.

One of the bandits left the room and the other lifted her night-dress and began caressing her legs.

Sydney further narrated: "De other one come over...[and] say, `Don't do she nothing, Don't do she nothing.' He say, `You got US in this house. Give we de US or else we gun blow yuh brains out. don't make no sound. Then he turn to de other guy and say, go downstairs and tell that one leh he look round."

Sometime later, the bandits bound Sydney's hands and feet.

"Ah throw meh hand on meh two children, cause ah say this is de end...He strap up meh two hands and he turn off de lights and I hear he saying, `Wuh you think I should do, pass she out?' He come and whisper in meh ears and say normally when they do robberies, they don't rob without killing. Somebody does got to drop. So I listening now fo hear, and the other one say, 'No, I tell you I know this binnie. You can't do that.' Then they left," related the still traumatised woman.

During the ordeal, Sydney said her attackers quizzed her about the occupants of the house opposite them. "One hold me by meh head and ask me if any big one in authority living hey? ...He asked who is de people dem over de road with de two cars park under de house to you all? I said is nothing to we, just neighbours."

In all, the bandits carted off $12,300 belonging to Sydney, $10,500 of Johnson's cash, as well as eight gold finger rings, four gold bracelets, two gold chains and two pairs of gold earrings, all belonging to Johnson.

In addition, the men went away with Sydney's 'Timber-land' boots, a pair of sandals, three pairs of her jeans and other items of clothing and her CD player.

One of the burglars even swapped his sneakers with a pair belonging to the woman's nephew.

The police last night said no one has been arrested. Investigations are continuing.