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Four held in maxi taxi heist

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Four armed men were arrested less than an hour after they held up a maxi taxi driver and his passengers in Champ Fleurs on Thursday. Around 6.30 pm, Adrian Nicholas, 43, of Champs Fleurs, was driving his maxi on the Priority Bus Route when he stopped to pick up a passenger near Carib Brewery. Police said as soon as Nicholas stopped the maxi, a passenger got up and held a gun to the back of his head. 


The man, who was waiting at the side of the road, boarded the maxi and with the help of another man, who also pretended to be a passenger, they robbed Nicholas and the other passengers of  cash, cell phones and jewelry. The three then got out and ran into an alley leading to Mt Lambert. Nicholas drove to the St Joseph Police Station and reported the incident. 



Almost an hour later, police from the St Joseph CID led by Insp Mark Maharaj were on patrol in Mt Lambert. The police spotted a silver car with occupants fitting the description of the men. Officers stopped the car and found the stolen items in the trunk. 



The four occupants­—a 27-year-old man and an 18-year-old, of San Fernando; a 33-year-old man of Claxton Bay and a 23-year-old man of KP Lands, Valencia—remained in custody up to late yesterday. Investigators said the four men, who all have criminal records for similar offences, were being questioned about several other maxi taxi robberies in the same area over the past few months. The suspects will be put on identification parades over the weekend and are expected to appear in court next week. 


In a separate exercise, later that night, the same group of officers searched a house in Arouca, and found a pistol and a cache of  ammunition. The items seized  included a .380 pistol, three 12-gauge shotgun cartridges, five rounds of 7.62 ammunition and 38 rounds of 9 mm ammunition. The 37-year-old owner of the house was arrested and charged with firearm and ammunition possession. He is expected to appear in the Arima Magistrates Court on Monday. 


Sgt Rene Katwaroo and Vetus Hernandez are continuing investigations.


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