New Thriving, Two Brothers gas station attacked by bandits
Gun, cash taken, more taxis hijacked By Kim Lucas
Stabroek News
August 13, 2002

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Four heavily-armed bandits in a brazen robbery spree late Sunday night hijacked three more vehicles and attacked three business places, robbing customers in the process.

In less than an hour, armed men pounced on the popular New Thriving Restaurant on Camp Street and Brickdam, Georgetown, before attacking Two Brothers Service Station at Eccles, East Bank Demerara and the nearby KFC outlet at Bagotstown.

Reports suggest that the bandits might have swapped at least three vehicles in the course of the night, one of which they abandoned at Herstelling on the East Bank Demerara, with a taxi driver locked in the trunk. The vehicles hijacked were a white Carina, HA 148, a white Toyota wagon, HA 8849, and a 4 runner, PGG 8604.

Stabroek News understands that the men launched the attack on New Thriving at around 10:15 pm. One placed a gun to the head of one of the two security guards on duty and ordered him to lie face down in the small guard hut situated at the Camp Street and Brickdam junction. That guard was relieved of his firearm and while at least two men stood over him, their accomplices grabbed the cash from the cashier and robbed one of the customers. One shot was fired, but no one was reported injured. The attackers escaped in a white car.

From all indications, the men seemed to have headed next to the KFC outlet at Bagotstown, where they placed a gun to the cashier's head and made off with the cash. A customer in the restaurant was also reportedly robbed.

Employees at KFC said that the attack occurred at around 10:35 pm while the guards were changing shift. A new guard had reportedly just started his shift and was circling the building at the time of the blitz. One employee said two men walked through the front entrance, held up the customer and the cashier and quickly exited the building. Employees said the men might not have taken more than $5,000 from the cash register.

After the KFC robbery, four bandits snatched the white wagon at Herstelling, which was being taken to the airport to pick up overseas visitors. Both the driver and passenger were booted out.

The 42-year-old taxi driver told this newspaper that he had left his home (also on the East Bank) at 10:30 pm and headed to Herstelling. He estimated that the attack would have occurred at about 10:45 pm.

After picking up the man in front of Salim's lumberyard, another car drove up and blocked the path, preventing him from moving. Four armed men, wearing bulletproof vests, with police emblems, emerged from HB 148, and demanded the keys to the wagon.

"Well I done know is not police how they come out with they big guns," the driver told Stabroek News yesterday. According to him, the assailants in colourful language ordered him out of his car, grabbed the keys and his cellular phone, and drove back in the direction of the city. They left behind the hijacked white Carina, but at the time, no one knew that the driver of the car was tied up in the trunk.

It was then that the bandits launched the attack on Two Brothers Gas Station. Personnel on duty said four men, each armed with two guns, stepped out of a white `Station Wagon' and demanded the cash.

Based on reports that hold-up lasted less than a minute.

Immediately after his wagon was snatched, the driver said he made his way to the Providence Station and while there, the police received a call stating that a man was found locked in the trunk of the white Carina.

That driver told police that his hijackers took him to Kitty, where they picked up another man. Next he felt something cold at his neck before he was tied up with his seat belt and locked in the trunk. His attackers also pulled his jersey over his head. Reports indicate that all three hijacked vehicles have been recovered. The white wagon was in the Brickdam Police Station compound yesterday. The police are investigating. In five hours between Saturday night and Sunday morning six other cars were hijacked and abandoned by criminals as a riveting crime spree continues without any let-up.