Police thwart carjacking on Solomon Hochoy Highway

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


Police officers look on as a helicopter hovers over a field on the Solomon Hochoy Highway, Couva as they search for one of the suspects involved in a vehicle robbery which took place in Union Hall, San Fernando, on Monday. – AYANNA KINSALE

Traffic along the northbound lane of the Solomon Hochoy Highway was brought to a standstill on Monday as police thwarted the escape of two carjackers who stole a car at gunpoint just minutes earlier in Union Hall, San Fernando.

On Monday around 3.45 pm, police intercepted the stolen vehicle on the highway near the Couva Medical and Multi-Training Facility. Newsday understands that police engaged the suspects and there was a shootout.

One suspect was shot and taken for  treatment at the Couva hospital,but the other ran away and disappeared into the bushes next to the hospital,  which resulted in an hours-long search. Videos of the man being chased before disappearing were widely circulated on social media.

As Newsday arrived at 4.36 pm, traffic on the southbound lane of the highway moved at a snail’s pace as officers from the Central Division Task Force switched their focus to securing the perimeter of the hospital and combing the bushes for the suspect with the assistance of a helicopter.

While observing, the Newsday team was cautioned to move from the area, given the suspect was considered armed and dangerous.

At 4.44pm, officers ran into the bushes as the helicopter narrowed in on an area assumed to be where the suspect was hiding. However, a few minutes later at 5 pm, the officers emerged empty-handed from the bushes.

This police vehicle passes over the Indian Trail Flyover in Couva as they search for one of the suspects involved in a vehicle robbery which took place in Union Hall, San Fernando, on Monday. – AYANNA KINSALE

As the search unfolded, drivers stopped along the highway to catch a glimpse of the action while curious onlookers gathered on the nearby Indian Trail Flyover and even speculated on the fate of the suspect.

One onlooker told Newsday he believed the suspect was long gone while another pondered if he was clever enough to crawl through a drain to escape.

Around 5.30 pm, police deployed a drone to assist with their search but only for a few minutes. As Newsday left the scene after 6 pm, they were still searching.

Police told Newsday the victims of the carjacking were unharmed.