Seven bandits rob A&R Bargain Centre
Proprietress stripped of clothes
Stabroek News
August 24, 2002

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Seven bandits armed with guns and cutlasses stormed A&R Bargain Centre at Lot 90 Robb Street, Lacytown on Thursday morning and robbed it of some $600,000 in goods and an undisclosed sum of cash.

The bandits also stripped the proprietress of her clothes, leaving her in her undergarments and fled in a westerly direction. Recounting the pillaging to this newspaper yesterday, proprietress Savitri Teakaram said that the robbery occurred a few minutes after 11 am on Thursday in the vicinity of the Bourda Market area where scores of vendors and customers had congregated. She also said beneath her store is a liquor bar and a few men were in it at the time drinking.

Teakaram said that she had opened the store around 7:30 a.m. At about 8 a.m. a group of men entered and asked the price of a pair of Nike sneakers, gents socks and some other items. She said, that at the time her son was in the store counting some US currency. She said she observed the men taking a keen look at him. She said they stood around in the store for a while and left without purchasing anything.

According to proprietress, her son left the store shortly after and at about 11 a.m. she heard the front door slam. Before she could turn around, three bandits were already in the store. She said one of them approached her and asked her the price of a pair of gents socks, which he purchased.

She said another one did the same, but as she was about to complete his transaction, a third one who was carrying a haversack, emptied it in front of her and took out a gun. Teakaram said she began to tremble and the gunman asked for her son, demanding money and other items from her. She said she was about to retrieve the money in her cashier’s canister, when the other two bandits whipped out cutlasses. When she looked at the doorway four others were standing inside the store with choppers.

Teakaram said she took the gunman to the cashier’s cage and handed him an undisclosed sum of cash, which included rental for her store, workers’ wages and proceeds of Wednesday’s and Thursday’s sales. She said she was taken to the main area of the store and asked whether she had US dollars.

She said she told the bandits she did not have any US dollars but they insisted and inquired again about her son. Teakaram said three of the men then proceeded to check in every conceivable corner of the store for her son and when they could not find him, they began to threaten her. “Wheh de US, yuh get US we know give we de US else we gonna kill yuh,” they said.

Teakaram said that in tears she pleaded with the bandits insisting that she had no US dollars. Seemingly satisfied, each of the seven men grabbed a travelling bag on sale at the store and one took an extra carton and began to fill them with ladies tops and skirts, gents watches, Nike sneakers, cologne, shirts, knives and choppers, a quantity of jeans and other items.

When the bags were rammed full, Teakaram said, the gunman returned to her and asked her to take off her clothes.

She said she did not obey his orders and he became furious and proceeded to rip off her clothing. She said he was about to hit her with the gun but one of his accomplices urged him to leave her and so he did and they all exited the store.

The businesswoman who established the business a little over a year ago said that she began to cry aloud after the bandits left the store and some of the men who were at the liquor bar responded. She said one them made a call to the police. They responded about 12 minutes later and took statements.

Teakaram’s store was closed yesterday and she could not say when she would resume business. The woman said that she has now become disgusted with the situation and did not feel safe anymore.