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Cops hold ‘gang leader’ in Sentinel $17m heist
Police have arrested a Beetham Gardens man who they claim is a gang leader in connection with the daring robbery two weeks ago which claimed the life of Sentinel security officer Bert Clarke. According to police reports, shortly after 7 pm on Saturday, officers of the Inter Agency Task Force, Guard and Emergency Branch and officers of the Port of Spain Division went to the area and held the suspect. Officers said they quelled what could have been a fiery protest after the man was arrested when residents attempted to block roads.
The three bandits made off with $17 million in local currency and US$150,000 during the daring highway heist in Trincity, East Trinidad, on November 27.
The courier service was headed east on a routine trip to the Piarco Airport around 4.30 am, along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway, near the Trincity Industrial Estate, when it was rammed from behind by a black Ford Ranger which was loaded with bags of cement in the rear seat. New information released by police now suggests that three shooters emerged and began firing at the panel van.
Clarke, 59, of Bregon Park, D’Abadie, was shot dead at the scene while the driver managed to escape after running and hiding in some bushes across the highway.
Police recovered shotgun cartridges, 9 mm casings and 5.56 shells, usually used inhigh-powered assault rifles, scattered across the three lanes of the eastbound lane of the highway. After grabbing the loot, the robbers escaped in a white SUV which was later found abandoned near Millenium Park, Trincity, and another getaway car, a Nissan Almera, was found at a yet to be released location. All three vehicles were reported stolen.
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