Here’s the scenario. You’re walking home on a cool evening. A vehicle stops nearby and a male passenger disembarks, heading squarely in your direction. But this is no friend. In fact, his intentions are less than honourable. With no help in sight, what would you do?
This was the dilemma facing one young lady from the southern part of the island as she encountered what appears to be a travelling terror squad responsible for several attempted and committed robberies and rapes.
“I was at the Patience gap walking on the right side of the road heading toward Mon Repos, when I noticed a white car resembling a Toyota Corolla stopped a little
lower on the other side of the road. The doors were black and the car had no number plate. I saw two men; one of them got off, crossed the road and started walking toward me,” recounted our victim, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“I had already heard rumors of a car going around and the occupants attempting to kidnap young girls and I became tense, but tried not to show any concern. When the man got close enough to me, I fired a kick after him and then I ran to the mini hotel which is at the gap. While doing that I screamed “Daddy, daddy,” hoping that he would think my father was nearby. Thankfully my plan did work, as the man went back to the car and they drove off.”
But it’s not just women being targeted. Several young men have also been relieved of their valuables. Yannick Flavius, another Mon Repos resident, shared his harrowing experience.
“I was sitting by the road not too far from my home, when I noticed a white car passed me, but I didn’t consider that to have any potential danger. I walked down the road and then I noticed three males coming towards me. Still I thought that they were guys from one of the Mon Repos communities. Then one of the guys said good night, and I found that strange,” said Flavius.
“I am turning to check which young man could’ve said good night to me, but by the time I’m doing so the other two guys are onto me, one holding a knife and I’m not sure what the other had. One of them just rushed onto me and grabbed my gold chain, took my tablet and two hundred dollars that I had in my pocket. They then ran off and I noticed them go into the car which was parked next to the primary school and moved off.”
The group is also believed to be responsible for the May 11 rape and robbery of a young woman in Grande Ravine, Dennery. While waiting for transportation after work at the Richfond junction, the victim accepted a ride from a man driving a vehicle fitting the description. Once inside she discovered two other men, who participated in the assault and theft.
Police stations have received several reports of incidents from Dennery, on the East coast all through the southernmost tip in Vieux Fort. A pattern has been established.
Reports have always included three or more men but never less than three. Incidents have been recorded from as early as 9:30 am to the late night hour of 11pm. Investigators have reason to believe that the perpetrators have been using fictitious plates. They may also be changing cars. People have been consistently reporting primarily a white car but the police would also like the public to know there is a possibility that those persons are changing vehicles.
Interestingly, in a particular case where an eyewitness was able to record the number plate, it led to a business place in Castries.
Among the most common items stolen so far are wallets, chains, tablets, and phones. Flavius says that if he sees the men he will be able to identify them easily. That’s because these brazen bandits are committing their crimes unmasked. So far all victims and eyewitnesses have seen their faces but they are unknown to them.
While the police have been conducting investigations and chasing leads in the hopes of bringing this to a speedy conclusion, the public can take precautionary measures for their own safety. It is not advisable to take rides from strangers or walk with
valuables in hand, especially in the case of a cell phone or tablet.
Something else to look out for? The purchase of stolen items. If an item is suspiciously undervalued, it is probably too good to be true. Do not be an enabler or unwilling accomplice.
Any information that can lead to apprehension can be conveyed to the Criminal Investigations Department at 4563770 and 4563926, or 999 Emergency.
Help end this reign of terror.