Owner of Flava’s Bakery Sophia Evans has expressed frustration over a number of robberies endured by her business in recent times, with the latest occurring just last week, resulting in the death of a suspected bandit at the hands of one of her employees.
On Thursday, November 16, 2017, at about 8:20 p.m., police responded to a report of a robbery at San de Fay in Sarrot, Castries. They learned that two masked men, who had fled the scene, had allegedly attempted to rob an employee of Flava’s Bakery at gunpoint while he was on delivery duty. During the alleged robbery one of the assailants was reportedly stabbed in self-defense.
The injured masked man was reported to have succumbed to his injuries and it is believed that his body was found a few hours later near the scene of the attempted robbery.
Evans gave an account of the incident, according to what was relayed to her by the robbery victim, her driver James Brown.
She said that Brown had called her sometime after 8 p.m. on November 16, asking for a spare key. When questioned about his request, he said that he had been robbed and that one of the robbers was hurt.
“…He told me, whilst he was going down from San de Fay, going down back to Sarrot, a gentleman stopped him. He said he did not stop the exact place…he went a little further into the light because the guy stopped him in the dark. He went where he could have seen light. He said he waited for about three minutes, but the guy did not show up. When he was about to go, somebody on the other side, which is by the driver side… pointed a gun at him and said ‘pass it’. So he said, ‘pass it? What am I passing?’
Not long after, the masked gunman fired a few shots into the air, while another masked male made his way to the passenger side of the delivery van and took a bag of coins and some five dollar notes from a compartment in the vehicle. The robbers then demanded more cash.
Evans explained that Brown, during this time, slowly reached for a knife which he normally keeps between the seats of the van without the robbers seeing – a knife he would customarily use to cut his fruits and food items during his journeys.
“He [Brown] stayed where he was… and the guy was still pointing the gun at him and he just grabbed the knife slowly without any of them noticing and he just pushed the knife at the back of him [Evans makes a backward thrust with her hands]… and then he pull it back and that’s when he saw blood on the windscreen,” she said.
The perpetrators allegedly fled after hearing a loud noise.
A resident who lives near the scene had called police upon hearing the gunshots.
Brown subsequently gave his statement to police in relation to the incident. He was later called to the crime scene for further investigations, Evans said.
The unidentified male’s body was not found at first, but according to Evans, he was later discovered. Police reports say he was found on Friday, November 17, 2017, at about 1:15 a.m., about 10 feet from the main road in San de Fay.
A firearm was also recovered by the police.
The businesswoman lamented that this sort of incident has happened way too often, stating that her bakery and vehicles have been robbed at least six times.
“The first place was the bakery. The bakery has been robbed about six or seven times. I have been in that bakery in my office and the guys are inside passing through the roof. It’s just an ordeal. Then from the bakery, we have the drivers on the road, the Babonneau and Cacao area. These guys have been robbed multiple times and then reports have been made multiple times. So our name is at CID, it’s at Babonneau Police Station, because these guys have been robbed so many times at gunpoint. There was an incident where one of the guys had to run off the van because when the guy pointed the gun, he told the man run and the man just had to leave the van and run,” she said.
Meanwhile, some San de Fay residents showed little empathy for the deceased, stating that the high spate of robberies in the area needs to be addressed at the soonest.
“Them young boys doing anything nowadays and I glad for what they do that guy there because they have to respect people [and] each other… he [the driver] try and defend himself,” one male resident said.
Another female San de Fay woman told HTS News4orce: “I am not pleased about it because them young fellers they not looking for no work to do and have been trying to rob people of what they have… [Something needs to be done] especially [about] the little house by the road there. Somebody have to try and do something about it because that’s where they have their hiding spot to rob people…”