Marked reduction in carjackings

Stabroek News
November 18, 2002

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There has been a marked reduction in carjackings over the last month and some police sources attribute it to the recent spate of killings and the downturn in robberies.

Since the February 23 jailbreak by five men, three of whom have been shot dead, bandits frequently hijacked mainly white cars to use in criminal activities. Often these cars were later found abandoned.

"The renowned criminals [are] all vanishing away from the face of the earth and there is an increased police presence in the city," one law enforcement official said on Saturday. He pointed out that since the October 28 shooting deaths of six men, including two wanted men, there has been a decrease in criminal activities, which he said were closely linked to the stealing of cars.

Below is a list of some of the major hijackings since February:

** February 23 - A 21-year-old prison officer, Troy Williams, was killed and another, Roxanne Winfield, wounded as Andrew Douglas, Dale Moore, Troy Dick, Mark Fraser and Shawn Brown blasted their way out of the Camp Street jail. They escaped in a hijacked car which was later ditched on Mandela Avenue in a trench opposite the well.

The group then hijacked another car, which was later found in Sophia.

** March 6 - Vivekand and Jane Parsram, proprietors of Jane's Food Mart were robbed by armed bandits of cash, CD players and groceries.

The bandits then hijacked a bus owned by a friend of the couple.

** March 18 - Bandits created a fake accident to lure a group of East Bank travellers into a trap at Friendship. The four unmasked men robbed the passengers of cash. Another car was stopped and its occupants, who were dressed in business suits were ordered out and robbed. The car was hijacked.

** March 21 - A taxi-driver reported that his car was hijacked by two armed men in Camp Street, Georgetown, He was ordered to take his hijackers to Linden.

** April 1 - Bandits hijacked three cars: Army Officer, Christine King was robbed, terrorised and her car hijacked; some Canadians were beaten, robbed and their car, too, was hijacked; then bandits attempted to hijack a vehicle belonging to La Familia's manageress.

** May 8 - A taxi driver reported to the police that he was hijacked in Pike Street, Kitty and robbed by two men, one of whom he identified as prison escapee Shawn Browne.

** May 30 - Bandits stuck twice in the city, hijacking two cars and leaving a gold Carina behind. The abandoned car was later discovered to have been used in a series of robberies.

The first car was hijacked shortly before 6 am in Craig Street, Campbellville, from Cuthbert Europe, a former police officer; while the second was snatched 15 minutes later from Andre Williams, a taxi driver employed by Legem Taxi Service. The latter driver said he was on his way to the Sophia area when he saw the gold Carina blocking his path.

** June 15 - A car was hijacked from Narinedath Mahabali by two men after he took them to Lamaha Gardens. A day later, the vehicle was recovered from the trench separating Irving Street and Vlissengen Road. A machine gun, a shotgun and a quantity of ammunition were left behind in the vehicle.

** June 26 - A white car was hijacked in Fifth Street, Alberttown. The driver, Aubrey Samuels was ordered out of the vehicle, then dragged from it when he failed to comply. As the two bandits were driving off, they fired several shots in Samuel's direction. A day later, a police patrol spotted wanted man Kwame Pindleton and three others in a white car at the corner of Vlissengen Road and Barr Street, Kitty.

The men opened fire on the police and sped off with the cops in hot pursuit. The gunmen swapped vehicles on Middleton Street. The car left behind was later identified as that hijacked from Samuels.

A second car was hijacked from Compton Semple, who sustained a flesh wound to his right thigh in the ensuing fracas.

The gunmen discharged several shots at a cyclist as they turned into Middleton Street from Drury Lane. They then changed vehicles in Garnett Street. That same day, at the junction of Mandela and Homestretch Avenue, the four men emerged from the white vehicle and approached a metallic grey Prado vehicle. One of the gunmen opened fire on the vehicle, injuring a woman related to auto dealer Peter Morgan. She and a child in the vehicle at the time were rushed to a city hospital.

** July 13 - Two armed men robbed the Middle Pocket Arena nightspot in Fourth Street, La Penitence of some $105,000 cash, as well as a quantity of jewellery. A man was shot and the bandits escaped on the proprietor's scooter.

Following these incidents, several other cases of car snatchings were reported, some with fatal consequences. However, since the October 28, shooting incidents in the city and at Annandale on the East Coast Demerara, there has been a marked reduction of this particular type of crime.

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