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Gunmen hijack RAV 4, flee with $12M in jewellery

Two gunmen held up an America Street businessman, escaped with his Toyota Rav 4, which contained a bag with a reported $12M in jewellery and then led the police on a high-speed chase that ended at Le Repentir Cemetery.

Ramesh Bhagoo (in white T-shirt) explaining to police how he was robbed.

But while the vehicle was recovered, up to press time the men had not been captured although the police cordoned off a large bushy area to the south of the Mandela dump site where they believed the men had fled to.

$12M in jewellery stolen

Ramesh Bhagoo, who plies his trade on America Street, was held up by the men around 16:00 hours yesterday at the corner of Broad and Saffon Streets where he had stopped to collect a Mother’s Day gift for his mother.
He said that he was standing outside his vehicle when the two men appeared to be drinking Guinness at a nearby shop, approached him with guns drawn.
The men ordered him to lie on the ground and since his vehicle keys were still in the ignition, they sped away with the vehicle.
Some persons at a nearby vulcanizing shop who watched the event unfold, were forced to duck for cover when the two gunmen discharged two rounds in their direction, shattering the side glass of another parked RAV 4, PLL 752.
“They shout and tell we, ‘All yuh ain’t see nothing and fire two shots’,” an eyewitness said.
The men drove the vehicle through the Albouystown area and eventually abandoned it in Le Repentir Cemetery near the Mandela Avenue dumpsite.
Meanwhile, Bhagoo quickly made his way to the Brickdam Police Station where he reported the matter and the police responded promptly.

Bhagoo’s abandoned Toyota in the Le Repentir Cemetery.

But unaware of the direction the men had fled, several ranks proceeded up the East Bank Demerara Highway, eventually turning back after failing to get a trace on the stolen vehicle.
They eventually received word that it was in Le Repentir Cemetery and immediately proceeded there.
But by then the bandits had already stripped the vehicle of its CD player and had made off with two bags, one of which contained the jewellery and another in which were five tape decks.
However, the men had not gone far when the police arrived. Eyewitnesses told the police that they saw the two men fleeing east into the thick bush adjacent to the cemetery. They had entered the area from Cemetery Road.
The police quickly established a cordon that stretched from Cemetery Road to Mandela Avenue after observing fresh tracks into the bushes.21
But it was quickly getting dark and despite the strong belief that the men were holed up in the bushes, the risk of pursuing them became greater.
By nightfall the police gave up the hunt.

Sunday, May 10, 2009