Third gas station raided by bandits
Bid to set fire fails

Stabroek News
January 11, 2003

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Another gas station was attacked last night by four heavily armed men who robbed employees and other persons in the vicinity before failing in their bid to set fire to the station.

In what is the third such attack on a gas station within two days, the men attempted to set the petrol pumps ablaze, hurling a channa bomb, which failed to explode.

Eyewitnesses said last night’s attack, which was eerily similar to Thursday night’s assault on the Shell Gas Station at Camp Street, was launched shortly after 8 pm when the four men, travelling in a white Carina series 192, descended upon the Texaco Gas Station at Durban and Lime streets.

The men are said to have come from west along Durban Street and parked in the service area, as if they were customers.

There were only two pump attendants on duty at the time, while there were three men sitting on the Lime Street pavement on the eastern side of the station.

As an attendant came up, two of the men are said to have exited the vehicle, weapons in their hands, and approached the two pump attendant and the three men. The gunmen instructed them to hand over their money and jewellery. They then ordered them to lie on the ground face down, all the while keeping their weapons trained on them.

At this point the men, sources in the area said, doused the pumps and the immediate environs of the service area with gasoline and then pitched a channa bomb onto the drenched area. However it failed to ignite and the men then made a wick from a piece of cloth which they attempted to light using matches. This however also proved futile and the men then escaped but not before entering the Texaco store and firing shots wildly. They rushed back to their vehicle and made their way north along Lime Street and then turned into Bent Street.

A fire tender was called afterwards and doused the gas-sprayed area with sand and water.

Persons visibly shaken by the attack were at the scene when Stabroek News arrived. The upper section of the glass door to the Texaco shop exhibited what had taken place earlier. There was also a bullet hole in the eastern glass window.

Owner of the gas station, Carlton Ambrose, said he is now considering closing the station since operating was now becoming more dangerous in light of the recent attacks.

The alternative Ambrose said is installing bullet-proof glass at the station. Only yesterday, the Guyana Petrol Station Dealers Association (GPSDA) in a press statement expressed concern over the two recent attacks on gas stations and said it was considering closing gas stations throughout the country during the night.

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