Beware of bandits calling at your home – Police
by Bria King
Homeowners should beware of persons using underhand tactics to lure them from the safety of their homes.
Earlier this week, Police issued a public notice to alert the public about a developing trend where persons knock on doors at residential homes, pretending to seek assistance or a favour.
“When the occupant(s) opens the door, they are attacked or assaulted by the assailant. In light of this, the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force advises the general public to exercise CAUTION when ever they hear a knocking on their door,” the notice said.
It also urged persons to not open the door unless “doubly sure” the knocking is bona fide and it is someone they know.
A Layou resident, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, said that his brother, who was visiting from Canada, was a victim of the developing trend some weeks ago.
He said he was not at home at the time, but his brother told him that two masked men came knocking on the door and several windows of the house.
He explained that his brother had just returned home from hanging out with some friends and was lying on his bed, when he heard the knocking.
“Somebody come and knocking the window, knocking the door, the person come back around to the window, peep through the curtain and see him on the bed. He said two of them, two persons were outside with masks…they know exactly where. He hear them saying, ‘look ee man dey’,” the resident said.
The resident also said that he has his own key so when he comes home, he does not have to knock. And so, his brother, who did not have credit on his phone at the time, sought a safe place and messaged his friend, who then called the police.
He said the persons may be observing the patterns of people in the neighbourhood so as to ambush them. And the Layou man recalled his brother telling him that he saw someone walking alongside the house in a black hoodie and looking around.
He added that Vincentians who live abroad but return home for vacation, may also be targets if the assailants believe they have access to large sums of money.
Another resident in the same area in Layou said that persons do not always knock on doors but look for other ways to lure you from your house.
He said that he fell victim to two men with a gun, when they turned on one of the pipes in his yard.
“The first time we went outside, nothing happened. Earlier in the day, I was trying to fix the pipe, so we figured it was something we did,” he said, noting that he was at home with another relative at the time.
“Then they turned on the pipe again and when we went outside, they jumped from behind the house and held us up with a gun. One guy held us up with the gun while the other guy searched the house.”
The resident said they overheard the bandits talking about “two white people”, in reference to who he believed were his cousins, who had been in the country on vacation, but had already left at the time of the incident.
He told SEARCHLIGHT that he offered the intruders his phone, but they left the phone and instead took the car, went joyriding and crashed it.
“Right now, I’m over it…at the time, I was angry more than anything else,” the Layou resident said. “The sheer disrespect of it, coming onto our private property, taking my brother’s car that he uses to get to work everyday. We came here on vacation and they’re targeting us. They have no respect for people’s hard work.”
Other persons in the area say that outside pipes have been turned on late at night, but they chose not to investigate and stayed in the safety of their homes.
Commissioner of Police, Colin John said yesterday that most incidents that have been reported occurred in Layou and Redemption Sharpes areas.
And while no arrests have been made to date, police continue to investigate the matters.
The Commissioner also encouraged persons to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety.
“I’m just encouraging persons to be alert and not to make themselves easy targets for persons who may have less than desirable intentions. Always be alert and aware of your surroundings, especially your homes. If something doesn’t appear right, it may just not be right,” he said.