The residence/business place in Sparendaam which was targeted by the bandits
BY: LEROY SMITH
A Four Year Old girl has been reliving and recapping the moment gunmen placed a gun to her head, her grandfather’s head and to the tummy of her pregnant mother during a robbery at Sparendaam.
Speaking with BIG Smith News Watch on Monday at the family’s business establishment, Marcelle Benjamin of 9 North Road Sparendaam said that on Saturday just after 11:00 am, two men pretending to be customers walked into their establishment.
“Two men came out of an old model Primo (car) PWW 8486 with blue lights and purple writing.. I thought they were ordinary customers because they came like that but then I hear them cussing up and asking my step-father for gun and money” the woman recalled.
She said her father told the men he had no money and does not have a gun.
At that point, the men became enraged and rushed to get behind the counter but were met with resistance by the Benjamin’s brother who also pushed one of the the bandits to the ground but was forced to retreat after the other bandit pointed a gun at him.
“He (bandit) run back to dad and scramble my daughter, put the gun to her head and the next one got the gun to my father head while my daughter was crying. My father managed to scrambled her away from the bandit, turn her face away from them and bend down over her to shield her, I run to secure myself and one of them run behind me and press his gun against my belly” stated the young businesswoman.
She said she was trembling as she sought to seek refuge by locking herself into a seperate section of the shop.
The woman said she managed to make it to the upperflat of the house where she made contact with the police who were reportedly already in receipt of the information about the robbery in progress from another caller.
“The police responded promptly but with a patrol from another station district as Sparendaam was out of vehicles. A patrol from Turkeyen responded so while they were coming the car with the bandits and a resident chasing after them (on a motorcycle) criss cross but the police were not aware that it was them because in the confusion of reporting the crime to them, I did not get to give them the vehicle number” Benjamin explained.
She said her daughter has been having sleepless nights.. in the day it is ok for her but at nights she would ask if the gunmen coming back for them, the mother recalled.
The family told BIG Smith News Watch that police visited them several times in the past where they said they received intelligence that the owner of the shop was in possession of a firearm but the reality is…according to them, no one in the home has or owns a firearm.
Meanwhile, there are some residents who shared information with the family about the suspected perpetrators of the crime but cautioned the family against sharing that information with the cops at Sparendaam Police Station.
There is a long standing view that the police at that station works in tandem with criminal elements along sections of the East Coast Demerara, the family told BIG Smith News Watch.
This publication has been told that some vital information has been shared with the Police Force Major Crimes unit who it is expected will have a hands-on approach in the robbery investigations.
BIG Smith News Watch has been told by the business family that just last week, a known character from the village asked the businessman (in an apparent joking manner) ‘how come you shop never get robbed?’
The businessman who did not report that incident to the police, said he approached the father of the young man and told him to speak to his son.
The shop which is popularly known as Teo Shop has been in operation for more than 30 years and according to the businessman, this is the first incident of this nature.