Bandits rob Bamboo family for second time in three months

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Police on a crime scene – File photo

A Bamboo Settlement family is now living in fear after being robbed twice in three months.

Krishna Ramphal, a 73-year-old man of Ramphal Street, Bamboo Settlement, told Newsday they are now hoping that police could bring the perpetrators of the two robberies to justice as he struggles to stay safe in the village he has lived in all his life.

He told Newsday bandits came into their liquor mart on Thursday night and stole more than $100,000 in alcohol, cigarettes and other goods.

“They left us bare.

“They came in with a white panel van and they used bolt cutters to get into the stores.”

In the first incident three months ago, ten bandits came to his home and held him and his family at gunpoint as they robbed them of thousands of dollars, jewellery and other items. Ramphal said he had gotten up at about 2.30 am to watch cricket when five masked bandits forced their way into his bedroom.

“Five went into my room, three went to another room, one went to my puja room, and another one went where we have gas canisters.

“They defecated in my puja room and the room where I had gas. They disrespected my religion. And still, when they had us tied up one bandit was telling the other, ‘Don’t lash them or anything, they are good people.”

He said the family still hasn’t gotten over the trauma of the first incident.

“For the first two weeks after the first robbery, I had to sleep in my daughter’s room because every time I close my eyes, I see five men bursting through my door with masks on their faces. My older brother, who is almost 80 years, had to go to our eldest brother down the street because he was so scared.”

He said that since the incident three months ago, they sold all their vehicles and put added security measures in place. But they had not secured the liquor mart, which was burgled on Thursday. Ramphal complained that he now lives in a prison.

“We are living in jail. If I raise my curtain and look through the window, I would feel like rain is falling all night because the high wall has the place dark. It is really hurtful. They have us very uncomfortable.”

He lamented that crime in the area has villagers fearful, but he refused to let criminal elements push him out of his home.

“I love here. Long time, there wasn’t any shooting, violence, burglary. None. People didn’t have to lock up their homes and businesses. But the Bamboo has gotten scary right now because of the amount of crime. Everyone still knows everyone in this village. Everyone is family. We born and grow up here. Bamboo is one of the best places for peace and love, but the criminals are hurting us.”

Police confirmed the incident on Thursday and told Newsday that investigations are ongoing.