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Belair, Fountain residents commend police action

Belair, Fountain  residents  commend police action

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Some residents of Belair and the Villa/Fountain area have commended the police for the increased patrols they have observed in these areas, but Commissioner of Police Keith Miller has denied that patrols are being done.{{more}}

“Since the story hit the paper, we’ve had visits from some of the top brass of the police force and now patrols have increased and are frequent. But this should have been done a long time ago,” a resident of Belair told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday.

The resident was referring to a story SEARCHLIGHT carried on April 5, about a series of robberies and break-ins experienced by some students of the All Saints University, located at Belair.

“… it’s good to have them (police) patrolling because it seems to be effective,” the resident said.

The police have also been commended by Mariyan Nassers, a medical student at All Saints University student, who said she is forever grateful to the police officers who apprehended a burglar who broke into her apartment in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police arrested and charged Garfield Lavia, a 38-year-old labourer of Arnos Vale with burglarizing Nassers’s apartment with intent to commit an offence, theft.

According to reports, a police unit had earlier responded to another attempted burglary in the Villa/Fountain. As the officers continued their patrol in the area “they heard suspicious noises” coming from Nassers apartment.

Upon investigation, the officers discovered the attempted burglary.

“I was really happy when they came. I was like they (police) are actually doing something because before people talked a lot about them (police) not doing enough with the patrols.

But I was really happy they came,” the student told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday during a visit to her residence.

Recounting her “frightful” experience, Nasser explained that she had just retired to bed at around 12:45 a.m. and while sleeping, she heard strange noises in her living room area.

Paralyzed with fear, the young Canadian resident said she lay in bed and was unable to proceed to see what was happening.

She also revealed that the burglar had a machete (cutlass) and what appeared to be a gun.

“I heard a noise, but I couldn’t tell if it was my landlord … or [if] someone was in my apartment. But I knew something was wrong so I took out my phone flashing the lights to see if everything is okay and that’s when I heard my living room chair move.

“I was in the stage where I was awake, but couldn’t move my body, because I was just so shocked,” the still shaken up student revealed.

It was also revealed that this was not the first break-in at the apartment.

SEARCHLIGHT was informed that in an attempt to escape, the burglar dropped what turned out to be a toy gun and his cutlass and tried to make his way over the 20 foot veranda, but was apprehended by the police officers.

“When the police officers came and knocked on my bedroom door, I was still afraid. I didn’t open my door. They repeated that they are the police, but I wasn’t sure so I told them, how am I to believe you are the cops?

“They then slid their ID under the door and that’s when I opened my door.”

The medical student also disclosed that she recently switched apartment rooms and one day after moving out, another student who moved in was robbed.

Meanwhile, the owner of the apartment who was on site during this reporter’s visit commended the police for their swift action.

“The police did a fabulous, fabulous job. It is not the first time they would have captured a burglar, but in this case the swift actions must be commended.”

The police also came in for commendation from the home owner for their “frequent patrols in the area.”

“I think it’s a positive step with the patrolling they are doing and I am really satisfied,” she added.

However when contacted on Wednesday, Commissioner of Police Keith Miller repeatedly said “we don’t have any patrol up there”. (AA)

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