Four held by police after Bourda Post Office raid
May have hijacked taxi minutes earlier
By Samantha Alleyne
October 16, 2002
Four men are now in police custody following an armed robbery yesterday morning at the Bourda Post Office where money intended for pensioners was stolen.
According to reports, at around 7:50 am, a few minutes after the post office had opened its doors, two armed men entered the building and ordered employees and customers to lie on the ground before stealing over $150,000 in cash and some $140,000 worth of phone cards.
One of the gunmen fired a shot inside the post office before they all made their escape on foot. The bullet lodged in a wall of the office.
While it is unclear whether the men might have had a getaway car waiting for them, persons in the area recalled seeing four men leave the compound, walk up Regent Street and into Light Street where they reportedly hijacked a car.
Assistant Superintendent of Police David Ramnarine, who is also the Public Relations Officer of the force did not disclose how the four persons in custody were later arrested but he made it clear that they were not employees of the post office and that they were arrested in the “city.”
Just ten minutes prior to the robbery a Rainbow Taxi Service car, HA 8996, was hijacked on South Road, which is not located far from the post office.
Detectives are looking at the possibility that the two incidents might have been connected.
According to reports the driver had stopped in South Road where there was a large crowd when the gunmen approached him and demanded his car. To force his cooperation the bandits fired at the car, one of which penetrated the bonnet.
The driver is said to have jumped into a trench to escape.
The car was later found abandoned in Princes Street in the vicinity of `South Alley’, which is an alleyway that leads from Princes Street to Joseph Pollydore Street.
Persons in that area said four men got out of the car, one of them carrying a bag on his shoulder, walked through the alleyway and caught a bus on Joseph Pollydore Street.
Eyewitnesses to the robbery told Stabroek News that two men entered the post office and one of them went up to the counter posing as a customer while his accomplice whipped out a gun and jumped over the counter in the office shouting an order for everyone to lie on the ground.
While the bandit, who posed as a customer, remained on one side of the counter the other quickly ran through the drawers and placed money along with the phone cards into a paper bag. The money was said to be for pension payouts.
While this was being done two of the terrified employees attempted to make their escape through a side door but ran into a third bandit who was guarding the building. He ordered the terrified employees to return inside by which time the two had finished stashing the money and had made their escape.
Meanwhile, customers who were waiting in front of the post office complained that no official had come out to tell them anything after the attack. One old man recalled that he had visited the office on Monday for money but was told there was none. He said he was in dire straits and after sticking around for a while he was advised to visit the main branch.
Chairman of the Guyana Post Office Corporation board of directors, Bishop Juan Edghill, who was at the scene shortly after the robbery, said that the police were investigating and it was not possible at that time to quantify what was stolen. He said a statement would be issued later.