Police foiled a robbery Saturday night around 9:00, shooting four of six thieves during an exchange of gunfire with the robbers in the top flat of a two-storey building at the corner of Mahogany and Mopan Streets.
The four thieves are now receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) for various degrees of injuries, under police custody. The other two men have been taken into custody and will be charged pending investigation.
Police shot a minor, 16, of a T Street address, in both his thighs. Gregory Knox, of Rio Grande Crescent, was shot in both his feet; Jean Pasqual, of a C Street address, was shot in his right thigh, and Alexis Ku of Mahogany Street was shot in his left thigh.
Police say that they were on patrol on Mahogany Street, and as they approached the intersection with Mopan Street, they intercepted an armed robbery in progress. They say that six men were robbing a Chinese store in the lower flat of the building. When the men saw the police, they ran out of the store and ran upstairs the building, from where they fired at police. Police say they returned fire and stormed the house, where they found four men with gunshots wounds.
Police found two other men hiding in the house – Steven Swasey, 37, of San Pedro, and Dillon Dougal, of a Boots Crescent address. They were all taken into custody. The injured men were taken to the KHMH and the two men who were not hurt were taken to the Queen Street Police Station.
Police said that they recovered everything that was stolen from the store – $2,500 cash, a DVD player, a laptop computer, 2 cartons of cigarettes, and 2 packs of cigars. Police said that they also recovered a Glock 9mm pistol, loaded with 10 live 9mm rounds, along with 2 expended 9mm shells.
Vin Jiang Li, 60, told Amandala that about 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, he and his wife were in their business, Jiang Vin Store, in the lower flat of the building when six men came into his store and aimed a gun at him. They came in quickly and he did not have time to close his burglar-barred door, he said.
The men then kicked open the door and forced themselves inside, behind his counter area. They then beat him with the butt of a pistol, tied him up and put him on the floor. They then beat his wife in her face with the pistol butt, and behind her head. They also stabbed her with a knife in her leg, after which they tied her up and put her on the floor behind the counter.
They then stole all the money out of the cash draw and stole Li’s computer, cigarettes, and cigars. He said that he could not call the police because he was lying on the floor and the men then ran out of the store. That was when he heard shooting.
Police then came into the store and untied them.
Li said that he has been operating his store in the area for over a year, and this is the first time he has been robbed and beaten.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon, Jr., said that he commended the policemen for their quick and efficient action in capturing the robbers.
Rosalee Ogaldez, the aunt of one of the minors, said that he had been missing from home since December 26, and his whereabouts were unknown. She had reported him missing to the police. She was sleeping in her bed on Saturday night when the KHMH called and informed her that her nephew was in the hospital, and that he had been shot. She immediately went to the hospital and confirmed that he had been shot in his thigh. Shortly after, he was taken into the operating theater.
According to Ogaldez, she had no clue where her nephew had been. She said she has been raising him for the past 10 years, after the death of his mother, her sister, but he refused to go to school and seemed bent on following gangs. Boxing Day was the last time she had seen him.