TWO men escaped with nearly $10M in cash, jewellery and smart-phones after a brazen afternoon robbery yesterday at the People’s Pawnshop, located at Gordon’s Mall, Lot 16 New Street, New Amsterdam, Berbice.The business premises which opened its doors two years ago is owned by Winston and Samantha Wade. However, the owners were out of the jurisdiction when the holdup occurred just after 14.00hrs.
Employee Lisa Saunders said about ten minutes before the robbery, one of the bandits, posing as a customer, entered the business premises and enquired about the buying price for gold.
“After he was told, he left, while using his mobile phone, and jumped on a bicycle which was a short distance away.”
The employee then left the building to go to another a short distance away, leaving behind her aunts Valentia Saunders, Winston Wade’s mother, and Marsha D’Andrade.
According to her, she was seated in the pawnshop when an identifiable man, dressed in a white t-shirt, slid the glass door to enter the business place.
“Initially, I thought it was someone who was coming to do business. But, as he entered he whipped out a pistol from under his shirt, and grabbed me, saying come, come. Another unmasked man joined him. My sister Marsha told the partially masked bandit not to rough me up. And that she was coming. The bandit took me behind the grill door, before taping me with duct tape and he let Marsha take everything from the safe. She was then taped. Our feet, hands and mouth were taped. They did not take the jewels in the showcase. The incident lasted about five minutes.”
Valentia Saunders told reporters that she thought she would have been killed as one of the men had a stocking mask, while the other was unmasked.
“I thought they would kill me as they did not care whether I had recognised them.”
Further, she recalled the thieves removing eight gold bangles from her hands, along with her Blackberry cellular phone, totalling $280,000. Her sister Marsha lost a gold chain, two gold and diamond rings and a Samsung cellular phone valued $650,000, while gold, diamond and cash from the pawnshop totalled $7,555,360.
Meanwhile, Berbice sleuths have in their possession the pawn shop surveillance tape as their investigations continue.