Would-be kidnapper shot dead

Guyana Chronicle
April 16, 2003

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A WOULD-BE kidnapper died after he was shot but his accomplice managed to escape following their unsuccessful attempt to kidnap the proprietor of Nanda's Fashion boutique on Sheriff Street, Georgetown, yesterday morning.

Sources said 25-year-old Terrence McCloud, of 42 Garnett Street, Kitty, was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation immediately after he was shot in the chest but died while undergoing emergency surgery.

Reports indicated that McCloud and the other man attempted to kidnap Nanda Devi Sawh, 23, around 09:15 hrs yesterday shortly after she had opened her boutique (Nanda's Boutique & Elegance Styles Gift Centre) at 47 John and Sheriff Streets, Campbellville.

However, sources said the men had to abort their kidnapping attempt after they were intercepted by a private security patrol vehicle which was in the area at the time and which returned fire on the two as they attempted to flee.

Police yesterday said they were looking for the second criminal. The Police also said a .38 revolver, three watches, G$2,000 and some jewellery were found on the dead man.

Speaking with reporters shortly after the traumatic experience, Sawh said she opened her boutique just after 09:00 hrs yesterday and at around 09:15 hrs, two men entered the business place and pretended to be shopping for sneakers.

The visibly shaken young woman said the men looked a bit suspicious but before she could have escaped or raised an alarm, they grabbed her and started to hit her about the body.

She said the men, one of whom was armed with a pistol and the other with a revolver, then tied her hands behind her back with a piece of electrical cord.

She said one of the men then went outside and seconds later she was escorted out of her boutique by the other man, gun pressed against her, and into the back seat of a vehicle where she was instructed to "lie low".

The young businesswoman said the taxi-driver apparently realised that she was being kidnapped and before one of the men could have pointed the gun at him, instructing him to drive, he jumped out of the vehicle and fled.

A senior Police source told this newspaper that the taxi driver had apparently just stopped his car in front of the boutique (unclear whether to pick up anyone or to drop off a passenger) and the driver, having observed the men emerging from the boutique with the young woman whose hands were tied behind her back, immediately switched off the ignition of his vehicle and fled with the keys in hand.

The Police source said the men placed Sawh in the back seat of the vehicle but when they entered immediately afterwards, they discovered that no key was in the ignition.

The men apparently did not expect the driver to escape with the keys and members of a private security service who were on the area at the time saw the suspicious looking two in the car, the source said.

According to the source, as the security officers approached the vehicle, the men became desperate and abandoned the car with the victim still inside.

The two opened fire on the security vehicle as they attempted to flee the scene on foot but the security officers gave chase and returned fire, while at the same time calling for back up, reports said.

With the security officers hot in pursuit, the two criminals ran from John Street, Campbellville to somewhere around Owen Street and Railway Line, Kitty where McCloud was shot.

It is understood that the men scaled a fence in the area and one of them was later seen in a yard.

The Police source said the security personnel called upon the man to surrender but he opened fire on them and was shot in the exchange of gunfire.

A member of the security patrol was shot in the right arm during the exchange, Police said. He was reported in stable condition after receiving medical attention.

By this time the Police had arrived on the scene and searches were conducted on several houses within the block in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the other would-be kidnapper.

Meanwhile, as soon as the men had abandoned the vehicle which was parked just outside Nanda's Boutique, the young businesswoman said she jumped out of the car and ran across the road to the house opposite her boutique.

Reports indicated that the men also robbed a cashier, who was the only other person in the boutique at the time of the incident, of the jewellery she was wearing.

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