Black Bush family shot at, beaten, robbed by bandits
Berbice crime wave
…Police said no car to respond; no SWAT dispatched
Bandits have struck again in Berbice, this time by attacking two families at Black Bush Polder and carting cash and jewellery while family members were told that the police there had no vehicle to respond immediately.
Reports are the gunmen, all masked, initially tried to break into the home of a farmer but shot at him after their attempt failed. This newspaper was told that the latest attack was at Johanna North at about 01:20h on Friday.
Harmond Roopnarine, 40, a farmer and his wife and two children, aged 17 and 16, were at home.
The farmer said he heard someone trying to break into his home and stood up, waiting with a cutlass in his hand as they repeatedly hit the window. He said one of the gunmen saw him but could not get into the building.
He explained that he stood at the window and saw the bandits using a piece of wood to break open the window to enter the house.
As one was making his way in from the broken window, the family began to scream while Roopnarine stood next to the window armed with a cutlass. The bandits ordered him to put down the cutlass but he did not comply. This led to them firing shots at the farmer and demanding, while still outside, that Roopnarine hand over his gold and money.
He said another shot was fired in the direction of his wife and children, who were in the bedroom.
The two bandits, the farmer said, were outside of his home for about ten minutes during which time several calls were made to the Mibicuri Police Station but the family was told that the police are incapable of responding because of the lack of a vehicle.
Meanwhile, his wife, Devi, told this newspaper that she went on her knees and begged the bandits not to hurt her family.
“I tell them we ain’t get nothing. Don’t kill me husband….they tell me husband to put down the cutlass and lie down. But he didn’t putting down the cutlass and I take off my earring and I throw it and give them and then they gone,” the traumatised woman said.
It was not until daylight that the police arrived at the scene.
“If they had come when we call them we could have catch somebody but is till this morning [Thursday] the Whim police come,” the farmer told Guyana Times.
Roopnarine expressed appreciation at being able to get on to the police station when he called but he is disappointed that they could not respond in a timely manner.
Meanwhile, at Johanna South, Lennox Ramcharran, 51, a rice farmer, was beaten after gunmen went into his home at about 20:30h on Thursday.
Ramcharran said he left his two teenage children inside after he heard dogs barking and went outside to investigate when he was confronted by the bandits.
“One of them run out and lash me down and tie up me hand. Me son come outside and he call for me but I can’t get to answer he so he run back upstairs.”
He said his son immediately called the police, informing them that they were under attack by bandits.
All three of the bandits had guns, the man recalled. He said that the bandits ransacked the house after his wife gave them money and jewellery. She and her two children were also beaten.
The men left with $300,000 and an undisclosed amount of jewellery. As a means of escaping without any incidents, the men grabbed the man’s 16-year-old daughter but released her after they realised that they were not being followed.
Ramcharran said shortly after the incident, two police officers arrived on motorbikes. An investigation has been launched. (Andrew Carmichael)