Inside job in PriceSmart $1.5M robbery… 2 employees denied bail

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The way PriceSmart’s warehouse  in Mausica was robbed on July 3, prompted the police to look for the culprits inside the establishment.

After two weeks of investigations are viewing CCTV footage, two employees were arrested and charged with the $1.5 million robbery.

Late Thursday night, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard SC gave instructions to police to charge a 33-year-old manager with robbery of over $1 million while a 22-year-old San Juan man was charged with receiving a stolen cell phone.

Kerlon Smith, an Assistant Manager, who has been employed at PriceSmart for the past three years, and Clinton John, appeared before Arima Second Court Magistrate Debby Ann Bassaw on Friday.

Smith, of Eventide Court Trincity, was remanded into custody until July 18 and advised by the court to apply to a judge in Chambers for bail while John, a security guard, of Pritzgar Road, San Juan, had his matter transferred to the Port of Spain Magistrates Court and postponed to July 19.

Head of the Criminal Investigations Department, Snr. Supt Radcliff Boxhill, said that while two persons have thus far been charged in connection with the robbery, other suspects are still at large and therefore the investigation remains active.

According to reports, at about 9.30 pm on July 3, two men entered the PriceSmart Supermarket and committed the robbery which was captured on surveillance camera.

Police said the bandits entered the building and interrupted a managers’ meeting.

They announced a holdup and ordered one of the managers to open a vault. The men then stuffed cash into bags and left.
Initial estimates place the sum to be at $1.5 million. No one was hurt during the robbery.

An all-points bulletin was issued following the robbery and several road block exercises were conducted in the immediate vicinity but no one was arrested then.

Investigators received CCTV footage of the incident.

Smith was arrested at his home on Sunday. He was taken to the Port-of- Spain CID where he was questioned and a statement obtained.

John was also arrested the same day and was allegedly found to be in possession of a cell phone stolen from one of the PriceSmart employees on the night of the robbery.

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