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Woman and daughters forced to lie down at gunpoint during robbery

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Police are investigating two armed robberies that occurred within an hour of each other Monday night. One took place at a private cottage at a Southampton guest property where the owners were forced to lie down with a gun placed to their head.

The incident occurred at a private home near the Reefs at about 8.30pm. The cottage is part of the property's cottage inventory during the peak tourism season.

Both suspects are black and believed to be in their late teens or early 20s. There have been three armed robberies reported to police since Friday.

When contacted by

The Royal Gazette, owner of the Reefs, David Dodwell said: “The mother discovered the two men already inside the home, they apparently came in through a window.

“The gun came out when she walked in on them, she just happened to be in Bermuda this week with her two daughters in their college years. All three women were forced to lie down on the floor while the suspects grabbed cash, a laptop computer and two cell phones before leaving.”

“This is the first time anything like this has happened at the South Shore property,” said Mr Dodwell who went to the home shortly after the incident was reported to police.

“Its disturbing, they were really shaken up, but they were much better when I saw them again yesterday.

“They feel violated, having a gun put to your head would do that. This woman had to call her husband abroad and tell him something as bad as this, they'll make other calls.

“It all sends a bad message when it comes to promoting Bermuda. It's equally as bad for anyone, including our residents, to have to experience something like this.”

Acting Superintendent Nicholas Pedro agreed. “Obviously, it's very traumatising. People come to Bermuda for its perceived safety and by and large it very much is.

“It's unfortunate that some callous people within our community seek to avenge their criminal activities on guests in our country.”

More burglaries were recorded in the first quarter of this year when compared to the same period last year. Mr Pedro stated: “There were 233 burglaries for the year to date compared to 187 for the whole of the first quarter of 2011. That's 25 percent over last year and the bulk of those are residential burglaries as opposed to commercial premises.”

There has also been an increasing trend of more robberies involving the use of guns. “The police service is busy, we've arrested 29 people on suspicion of burglary this year, 14 of those people have actually been charged before the courts with burglary offences.

“A lot of things have been stolen in the last few months, including cash, jewellery, electronics and a number of items clearly tangible cash-in items.”

Criminal investigators at stations islandwide are also looking for suspects wanted for other burglary offences.

Police are also investigating another armed robbery that occurred Monday night, one hour before the one in Southampton.

A 34-year old taxi driver from Devonshire was held at gunpoint near Lolly's Lane in Smith's at around 7.30pm. The driver was dropping off a fare when he was accosted by two men, one of them was brandishing a gun.

Police are looking for two suspects, both in dark or black clothing and shoes, on a black and red coloured motorcycle. Both men were wearing dark helmets and black hooded jackets. One reportedly was in possession of a chrome or silver gun.

Both suspects are black in their late teens or early 20s and are believed to be 5'8 and 5'11 tall.

One of the suspects in the robbery at the Reefs had a red bandanna covering his face, both suspects are described as dark skinned males, around 5'8” tall of slim build. Police have not ruled out the possibility that the two robberies may be linked.

Mr Pedro moved to reassure the public that BPS is using all its resources to combat the trend. They have put additional armed officers on patrol and they've stepped up regular patrols.

“We are continuing to see evidence that a small percentage of people committing a disproportionate amount of the crime.

“We're seeing criminals who for 20 to 30 years have been committing this type of behaviour and we're dealing with young people that we've never seen before. It's very difficult to focus on any one group of people or particular suspects as we know people come in and out of jail and they continue their bad habits.

“That obviously spans both boom and bust economic cycles so it's really difficult to say that it's down to any one thing, be it the economy or otherwise.”

There have also been recent cases where the robbers are targeting drug dealers hoping to make a score in cash or illicit drugs.

Mr Pedro said: “The public is a big factor in assisting us in bringing offenders to justice. It will require the combined efforts of the police and the public.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact police on the main number at 295-0011.

Police are to step up armed patrols in the wake of a series of robberies involving firearms.
Acting Superintendent Nicholas Pedro addresses the media during an interview about burglaries in general two armed robberies that happened on Monday ( Photo by Glenn Tucker )
Acting Superintendent Nicholas Pedro addresses the media during an interview about burglaries in general two armed robberies that happened on Monday ( Photo by Glenn Tucker )

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Published March 07, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated March 07, 2012 at 8:53 am)

Woman and daughters forced to lie down at gunpoint during robbery

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