Island seeing daily armed robberies

Since October, nearly every day on New Providence, at least one person was the victim of an armed robbery.

Between September 1 and November 15 there were 59 armed robberies on New Providence, according to numbers provided by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

There were 16 in September, 30 in October and 14 as of Friday.

While the robberies are in the daily crime reports, police have not raised any alarm on the incidents.

The robberies have been scattered all over the island. There have been robberies of individuals and of businesses.

Last week, there were five incidents in four days.

Last Wednesday, a man and woman were sitting in a car on West Bay Street near Caves Village after 6 p.m. when two armed men approached them and robbed them of personal items and their 2019 Ford Escape, police said.

The day before at 10 a.m., a man was robbed of cash and checks as he sat in his car on Mackey Street.

Last Monday, just after 7 p.m., three armed men held up employees at a take-away restaurant on Brougham Street and robbed the business of cash and cell phones.

Last week Sunday, there were two armed robberies, according to police.

In the first incident, a man, who was walking on West Bay Street near Saunder’s Beach, was robbed of cash and his cell phone.

Just after 4 a.m. the same day, two men held up employees at a fast food restaurant on Carmichael Road and robbed the business of cash.

The incidents have left victims traumatized.

On October 19, Jessica Knowles, 23, was withdrawing money from an ATM at Commonwealth Bank on Wulff Road when she was held at gunpoint.

Her baby was in the car with her when it happened, she said.

“After I was done withdrawing my money, I noticed these bright lights in my rear view mirror,” she said.

“The next thing I knew this masked man was standing at my window with a gun pointed at my head. I started trembling and hollering how terrified I was.

“He then started saying, ‘Give me the money. I ain’t going to kill you, just give me the money.’

“At that point I couldn’t move, think or speak. He grabbed my hard-earned money, stashed it away and tried to [grab] my keys out of my ignition.

“He was going to leave me and my one-year-old son stranded. But God wasn’t having it — he was unsuccessful because my car was still in drive.

“After they fled away, me and my son burst into tears. I drove off and went to the police station to report my horrific incident. I knew my robber wouldn’t be caught because he had a mask on.

“I couldn’t sleep or eat that night, because it just felt like a nightmare.”

The young mother, who grew up on a Family Island, said the experience has changed her life in the worst way.

“Through it all I’m thankful and grateful for me and my son’s life,” she said.

She added, “Most days, I wish I was back at home [on Long Island]. I’ve been very cautious when going anywhere at anytime in Nassau. It was definitely a hard lesson to learn.”

Last year, there were 443 armed robberies on New Providence, according to police statistics.

Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said recently Bahamians need not be “overly concerned” with crime on the island.

He maintained that his policing plan is going “extremely well”.

“As you would have seen over the last two months, [there were] some little bumps and little challenges in respect to shootings and armed robberies, but nothing that we cannot handle,” he said.

“And the Bahamian people need not be overly concerned about it. We have it in hand. I think if they’re watching, they can see a whole lot of officers on the street, and I’m sure you see that and that is really designed to go straight into the end of the year to make sure that our people have a nice Christmas, go out there and shop and really enjoy yourself.”

He added, “Every single day we turn up for duty. We’ve got to do our best to make sure that the Bahamian people are safe, and that is what I will continue to say. We will do our best to make sure that Bahamian people are safe.”

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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