Although car-jackings and armed robberies in the Trincity area are not new, residents say they will continue to adopt self-imposed restrictions to escape the criminal elements.
Fresh concerns surfaced yesterday, following the robbery of an El Dorado man after he arrived to visit a relative at Tenth Street West, Casselton Gardens, around 8.25 pm on Monday.
The 38-year-old victim was held up at gunpoint by two men in front the home, following which he handed over the keys to his black Honda Vezel valued at TT$185,000.
Guardian Media understands the man had just arrived with his children to visit the family member, when the two suspects confronted them on the road.
As the suspects escaped, a report was made to the police and an All Points Bulletin was issued.
A coordinated strategic operation involving several units within the North Central Division was initiated, and Tunapuna Municipal Police later observed the stolen vehicle speeding west along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway and initiated a chase.
During the effort to evade lawmen, the suspects began driving recklessly and later crashed into a barrier near the entrance to Grand Bazaar in Valsayn.
Emergency health workers responded and assisted in providing emergency treatment to the suspects, but one man succumbed to his injuries around 9.50 pm at hospital. He remained unidentified up to yesterday.
The dead man’s accomplice, of Quarry Street, San Juan, who is well known to the police, remained hospitalised in a stable condition yesterday, after he too sustained injuries in the accident.
Officers reportedly recovered one Heckler and Koch firearm along with 13 rounds of .40 mm ammunition in the stolen vehicle.
One man yesterday described the suspect, who remained handcuffed to the hospital bed and under police guard, as a pest. He claimed the career bandit was well known to the authorities, had a long record and was accustomed to “distressing” others.
When Guardian Media visited the area yesterday, homeowners remained locked inside with only a few willing to speak about the incident, and crime in general.
One woman said the time had come to focus on harnessing youth energy, as she explained, “Many of them don’t feel love, they don’t know what love is so when these gangs are giving them love and a sense of belonging…that is what they are gravitating towards.”
Another elderly female resident pointed to the security cameras installed along the streets, as she said it had been a neighbourhood project several years ago and was one of the initiatives introduced by the residents to bring a greater sense of security to the area, following a similar robbery on the same street.
This latest blatant disregard of the security measures, she said, indicated that the bandits did not care about being caught anymore.
Another woman theorised, “They are lost souls trying to find recognition through the barrel of a gun.”
She said it was only “love, love, love, love” that could save some of these criminals who continued to gravitate towards the gangs who were filling that void.