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Robbers held, beaten in South
Store workers and street vendors took matters into their own hands yesterday when they pursued and beat two Jamaican nationals who robbed Detour Gents Store in San Fernando. The suspects, 34 and 37, who stayed in Arima, were arrested along with a 40-year-old Princes Town Special Reserved Police officer who was held after part of the loot was allegedly found in his car.
The suspects were dragged out of their red Mitsubishi Lancer near Scotiabank on High Street after Store Manager Riad Attieh shot the car’s front tyre with his licenced firearm. The suspects were held until police officers, led by ASP Zamsheed Mohammed and Cpl Chris Garraway, arrived a few minutes later. They recovered some of the money at the scene and later found the rest in the SRP’s car.
According to reports, the suspects entered the store at lower High Street around 3 pm where one of them asked Attieh to convert US$1,200 into TT currency. Workers said while the transaction was taking place, the other suspect pretended he was browsing though some clothing.
Calls for joint police/army patrols on High Street
Cashier Marjorie Zouda said that after the suspect was given the money, he asked Attieh to change a further US$8,000 but was told that it too much. She said the man then shouted, “Well give me back my money, I pay my workers in US.” But after receiving his US cash back he did not return the TT currency. He and his accomplice then ran out the store with both TT and US currency.
Lennox Andrews, a shoemaker who operates outside the store, said when he saw the men escaping, he and another street vendor ran behind the car. “We ran up behind them and controlled the man on the passenger side. We took him out of the car and dealt with him. We let the bossman train his gun on the next one so he could not move.”
Andrews said although the businessmen disagreed at times, they were not allowing bandits to disrupt their lives on High Street. Zouda said it was frightening that the escalating crime situation had reached their business and called for joint police/army patrols on High Street. Police also got a setback when an officer responding to the robbery was reported to have suffered a heart attack.
Reports indicated that PC Mootilal of the Marabella Police Station complained of chest pains while being transported to the crime scene. He was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital where he was being treated.
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