Brazen robbery in Diego Martin … HOW THE BANDITS WERE CAUGHT

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The images on this page tell the story of how two bandits are seen trying to escape after robbing Arties Meats, Morne Coco Road, Diego Martin, last Saturday. The images also show the police in pursuit, nabbing the men within minutes of the robbery.

On Thursday, the two suspects, including a boy 15, appeared before a Port of Spain Magistrate to answer 11 criminal charges.

The boy appeared alongside his co-accused, Stephan Durant, 22, a member of the St James Police Youth Club, before Magistrate Adia Mohammed in the Fourth Court accused of robbing several people of cash, their cellular devices and jewelery at gunpoint during the robbery which took place at Arties Meats, Four Roads, Diego Martin.

The minor was denied bail and remanded into custody at the Youth Training Centre (YTC), while Durant was granted bail in the sum of $350,000 to be approved by a clerk of the peace.

Neither of the accused were called upon to plead to any of the charges as they were all laid indictably.

They were both accused of assaulting Nikki Crosby (Nicole Nathaniel Clarke) with intent to rob her. In addition to that, it is alleged that together with other persons and being armed with firearms, they robbed four other customers of cellular phones and jewelery carrying a combined value of $19,000 and a total of $4,135 in cash. Also, they were charged with robbing the establishment of $5,000 and a donation box which contained $231.

Apart from the robbery charges, it was alleged that at Giles Street, Diego Martin, where they were arrested, each of the accused were alleged to have had in their possession a firearm and several rounds of ammunition.

Durant was also charged with having in his possession an additional ten rounds of .38 ammunition which was allegedly found at his L’Anse Mitan, Carenage, home.

After the charges were read, defence attorney Kyle Fortune, who represented the minor, told the court he was making an application for his client to be sent to the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital for mental evaluation. The attorney said since the boy was arrested on Saturday, he (Fortune) had been trying to take instructions from him but to no avail. Fortune said he was later informed by the mother that he had a mental disorder.

The magistrate initially granted the request but then told the attorney she had been reminded that the facility did not have the facilities to house minors. As such, she ordere that he be remanded into custody at YTC, where a probation officers’ report would be prepared in time for his next court appearance on July 26.

With regard to Durant, his attorney Allan Anderson said his client had a clean criminal record and was employed as a caterer who often worked at both Hyatt Regency and Hilton Hotels.

In response, police prosecutor Sgt Azad Ali said he was objecting to bail given the number of offences committed as well as the strong evidence that had been gathered against the accused. Most of the items that were taken during the robbery were brought to court by the officer who laid the charges.

Following the submissions, the magistrate proceeded to grant bail to Durant. As a condition of his bail, he was ordered to not make any type of contact with any of the victims and to report to the Four Roads Police Station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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