$60,000 bank robbery
By CECILY ASSON Saturday, February 2 2013
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SEARCH TIME: Policemen prepare to go in search of three bank robbers shortly after a robbery at Republic Bank's Point Fortin branch yesterday in which...
SEVERAL pensioners who joined a line inside Republic Bank’s Point Fortin branch yesterday morning, waiting to cash their monthly cheques, came face to face with armed bandits dressed in track suits who later robbed bank tellers of $60,000 before escaping in a blue Nissan Navara Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) which they stole from a man who was parked outside the bank.
Several of the senior citizens had to be given water and comforted by bank staff following the ordeal while some of the bank tellers wept. An ambulance was called in and remained parked outside the bank to offer medical attention to traumatised customers.
The SUV was later found abandoned in Bobo Shanti Road, Point Fortin, and two suspects in their 20s were arrested after being found in a bushy area in Salazar Trace, Point Fortin. The suspects are expected to be placed on an Identification Parade on the weekend.
Investigators were able to view footage from CCTV cameras installed inside and outside the bank to assist with their investigations, Newsday learnt. The search is on for a third suspect.
According to police, at 8.30 am, three men dressed in track suits, one armed with a gun and the others armed with cutlasses, stormed the bank and announced a hold-up. Customers were ordered to lie on the ground.
The men jumped over the counter and ordered tellers to hand over all the cash which according to police totalled $60,000. They then ran out of the bank and forced a man to get out of his SUV, before entering it and speeding off.
A report was made to police and an All Points Bulletin (APB) was sent out and a party of officers led by Insp Seedarie and including Sgts Ablacksingh, Solomon, Gokool and Taitt, Cpls Corrie and Seecharan along with members of the South Western Division Task Force visited the scene. Police subsequently locked down the Point Fortin area and with assistance from the National Security helicopter and officers of the Canine Division and Point Fortin CID discovered the stolen vehicle abandoned in Bobo Shanti Road.
Two men from Point Fortin were subsequently detained during a police exercise and are now assisting police with their investigations. None of the stolen money was recovered. Republic Bank yesterday confirmed the incident stating while no one was injured during the robbery which took place when it opened for business, members of staff were shaken and had to undergo counselling.
The statement further read: “members of the bank’s executive management team are at the branch assisting staff.” Customers were yesterday advised to use other branches. Yesterday morning police who were carrying out an anti-crime exercise in Point Fortin, Cedros and environs also arrested and charged a family of four with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking following a raid at their home in Fullerton Village, Cedros.
A 53-year-old man, his 51-year-old wife, and their two children aged 20 and 24 were among a total of 20 persons arrested during a 24 hour police exercise which began at 1 pm on Thursday. Also arrested and charged was a 23-year-old man of Syfoo Trace, Granville, who police held with a black garbage bag containing 1,250 grammes of marijuana. Officers said the suspect was examining the marijuana in an open area when he was found. Two persons were held on outstanding warrants. The exercise was spearheaded by Snr Supt Ramsey, Supt Sampath, ASPs Pardassie and Belfon. Investigations are continuing.