Families flee Foulis over renewed crime
Stabroek News
November 10, 2003

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Reminiscent of the situation during last year’s crime spree, several families living at Foulis, East Coast Demerara have begun to abandon their homes following renewed robberies in the area.

“Like this thing raising up back, like we gon can live in peace again,” a resident of Foulis declared to this newspaper yesterday.

Another family of Enterprise Gardens had already been forced to abandon their abode after extortionist threats by two young bandits who looted their home last week Friday.

This past Friday night, two men believed to be the same persons who robbed the Enterprise family, descended on Bibi Ramsaran and her 16-year-old daughter, Natasha at their Lot 103 Foulis home.

The bandits carried away some $90,000 in local currency, US$200 and few pieces of jewellery.

One of them also wished Natasha success in her future endeavours and warned her from being racial.

“And you, never be involved in racism, take your education seriously you have a far way to go,” Natasha quoted one of the bandits as saying.

Her mother Bibi recalled that around 7:30 she and her daughter were in the home preparing to take a bath when their telephone rang. According to Bibi, Natasha was near to the phone eating and as such she took the call.

“So while I was speaking to the person on the phone I feel a hand come over me neck and cover me mouth.”

She said simultaneously she saw a second man standing in front of her daughter telling her not to make any noise.

She said while her mouth was covered the bandit who stood in front of Natasha demanded their possessions.

“So I had $90,000 on the table which me husband gave me to complete doing up de bottom house and give he all.”

According to Bibi not satisfied with that, the bandits continued to demand more money at which time Natasha went inside her room took out US$200 she had in her piggybank and gave them all. She said too that the bandits stripped them of whatever gold jewellery they wore at the time and also ransacked their rooms and carried away additional jewellery.

Once the bandits gathered their loot they calmly left the family, escaping through some dense bushes on their way to nearby Bare Root.

Bibi lamented the re-emergence of such crimes. She said while she was grateful that the bandits did not harm them, she felt very insecure living in the area now. According to the woman at one time during the ten-minute ordeal the bandits threatened to kidnap her daughter if they did not get a substantial amount of cash from them.

Two residents in the area have since closed their homes and left. She said both families expressed security fears. The area does not have electricity and Bibi said when night falls the place is very dark.

She told this newspaper that there was a community policing group which would from time to time patrol the area.

“But the bandits them are not using the road to come in they are coming through the back in these thick bushes,” Bibi said.

The family did not stay at the home over the past few nights and it is unlikely that they would return soon.

Bibi said the robbery had now left them broke, noting that her husband was the sole breadwinner and was not earning a big salary.

“Look how things do happen, all that we worked for and save, in less than an hour it gone. Could that be fair? What have we done?” Bibi asked.

She called on the relevant authority to install electricity in the area, saying that if there was light the bandits would have been seen by other residents. She also wants more regular police patrols in the area.

Across at Enterprise the apprehension is much the same. Residents of Enterprise Gardens where the now relocated family previously lived said they were more vigilant than before.

Speaking to this newspaper, one man said for the past few months he had been living in relative peace, but now there was much cause for concern.

“I think that after some of the big bandits them get kill things would cool down, but now it’s like a new breed taking over. We have to be careful”.

The man was adamant that the young bandits were residents of nearby Bare Root. (Nigel Williams)