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We’re under attack, Jack
A day after Jack Warner was installed as National Security Minister, Penal/Debe business owners are begging him for help. The business owners said they were being targeted by an organised ring of robbers. During an emergency meeting held with the Penal/Debe Chamber of Industry yesterday, business owners complained that over 20 burglaries, robberies, larceny and petty thefts had been reported to the San Fernando, Penal and Barrackpore police stations for the months of May and June.
Some of the robberies were committed by women wearing nurses’ uniforms and suits. Most of the crimes happened along the SS Erin Road and Wellington Road, Debe. The businesses robbed included South Importers, UMR Furniture, Lall’s Tailoring and Steam Laundry, Raymon and Radica’s Tailoring, Crazy Raj Clothing store, Rostan Tyre Shop, MS Foodcity, South Auto Service and Transit Bar.
The owner of South Importers, Surish Ramkalawan, said thieves were becoming more brazen. “Some of the robberies are committed during the daylight. The criminals seem to be organised and it is frightening,” Ramkalawan said. He said on June 8, burglars broke through three steel doors and a wall at the back of his building and stole cash.
Ramkalawan said they cut his electrical supply, disabling his alarm and surveillance system. The owner of Lall’s Tailoring, Totalall Sarwan, said on June 20 cutlass-wielding robbers held up an employee and took thousands of dollars. He called on Warner to make provisions to allow legitimate business people to carry firearms.
Nick Harripersad, who manages MS Food City, said robbers were migrating to the quiet communities to look for soft targets. He called on the Government to make the Debe police post accessible to people living in the area. Harripersad said since the post was transformed into the Southern Division Highway Patrol, residents have been suffering. Chairman of the Penal/Debe Chamber of Industry Lincoln Ragbirsingh called on business people to be more alert and to invest in better cameras, security guards and dogs.
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