VIDEO: Robbery Spree Hits Four Businesses In Linstead; Three Suspects NabbedNovember 30, 2023
Gunmen have been wreaking havoc in and around the town of Linstead in St Catherine, robbing four businesses within weeks, beating a security guard, and making off with a gun as well as money, appliances and other valuables.
On one of the four occasions, police managed to chase and apprehend three suspects – shooting two of them in the process.
The Beacon has confirmed that, in two of the robberies, the perpetrators wore police vests. Some also were attired in army fatigues.
The Western Union money transfer outlet at Dixon’s Drug Store at 74 King Street in Linstead is the latest business hit in the town by men posing as law enforcers.
They struck minutes before 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon (November 25) despite a State of Public Emergency being in effect for Linstead and other parts of St Catherine.
The footage from a surveillance camera inside the building shows two men dressed as soldiers, along with another wearing a police vest and carrying a long gun. Their faces were covered.
At least two civilians, who were in the public area of the establishment, were made to lie face-down on the floor while someone behind the counter gave the gunmen cash, which they took and then escaped.
A manager at Dixon’s Drug Store told The Beacon that he is grateful that no life was lost, adding that the business intends to bounce back from the attack. The establishment was opened for normal business on Monday, the first big day of commerce since the robbery.
Councillor for the Linstead Division Herbert Garriques wished the management of Dixon’s Drug Store well, noting that that firm has been a good corporate citizen – often giving back to community-based initiatives.
The robbery at Dixon’s happened five days after gunmen perpetrated a similar crime at Your Choice Family Pharmacy in the heart of Linstead. No one was injured in that incident, The Beacon confirmed.
It’s reported that one gunman wearing plain clothes entered the establishment early in the morning, but it is believed that he had accomplices on the outside.
He took mainly appliances. The company is said to be carrying out an audit to determine what else was stolen.
Your Choice Family Pharmacy was founded by Deslan White who was ambushed and shot dead in June this year while he was driving towards his home in Jericho district, Linstead.
In the meantime, shortly after nightfall a few weeks ago, about four gunmen, including one wearing a police vest and carrying a long gun, robbed Gaynors Unipet Gas Station at Vanity Fair in Linstead.
It is said that the robbers, who also wore masks, took cash and the cash register. They also beat the security guard on duty and made off with his gun.
Another business in Linstead – a store owned by a man whose alias is “Red Rat”, was robbed on Wednesday, November 22. In relation to that incident, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) reported that its officers assigned to the Linstead Operational Support Team (OST) pursued a vehicle in which the suspects were travelling.
It added: “Reports are that, about 3:35AM, three men robbed a store in Linstead, St Catherine. Lawmen assigned to the OST responded and pursued the vehicle to St Ann, where the driver stopped and the three men attempted to flee while firing at the officers.
“Two of the three men received gunshot wounds. They were taken to hospital where they have been admitted under police guard. The other man was taken into custody,” the JCF further disclosed.
This series of attacks on business in Linstead comes months after gun murders and a fire hit several vendors in Linstead Market. Two vendors were shot dead on separate occasions.
The first shooting in the market happened shortly after nightfall on May 13, resulting in the death of 55-year-old Marcia Smith from Treadways district in Linstead.
Six days later, another vendor, 43-year-old Carvett Chue, was also cut down in a hail of bullets in the market.
Tension heightened on June 1 when a fire destroyed some stalls in a section of the market close to where the shootings took place.
The minister of local government, Desmond McKenzie, said fire personnel had informed him that the blaze resulted from an act of arson.
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