There has been a spate of armed robberies across New Providence in the last week, police reports show.
Multiple businesses and individuals, including at least one visitor, have been held up over a four-day span.
Police reported at least six incidents between Monday and Thursday, three of which took place on Thursday.
According to police reports, around 7 p.m., three armed men held up a tire shop on Soldier Road. Police said the men robbed the owner and patrons of cell phones, cash and other personal items before they escaped in a white Toyota Corolla.
Around that same time, another armed man was
holding up a foreigner. Police said the tourist was walking in the area of West Bay Street and St. Albans Drive when he was robbed of his bag containing a cell phone, cash and other personal effects.
About two hours later, a man who was walking in the area of Sunglow Road Park, Colony Village, was approached by four men who robbed him of two cell phones and cash. Police said one of the men was armed with a shot gun and another with a cutlass.
Those three incidents followed similar crimes carried out earlier this week.
Police said shortly before 10 p.m. on Wednesday, four armed men entered a business establishment on Soldier Road and robbed four adults of cell phones, jewelry and cash.
It is unclear if these are the same men who carried out the tire shop robbery on Thursday.
Police also reported two separate robberies on Monday.
Police said an armed man held up a store on West Street and Meadow Street and robbed a female cashier of an undisclosed amount of cash around 2 p.m.
The second incident took place shortly before midnight. Police said a group of people were sitting outside a residence on Sea Beach Drive, West Bay Street, when they were approached by four men, three of which were armed with hand guns. A woman in the group was robbed of a wallet containing cash and other personal items.
There was a 12 percent increase in armed robberies last year, according to police statistics. Data shows that there were 531 incidents in 2019 compared to 474 in 2018.
Of those, 470 were committed with a gun.
Addressing gun violence, generally, National Security Minister Marvin Dames said on Thursday that too many men are armed.
“Just about every young man out there on the streets feels that it is important for them to have a gun,” he said.
“[G]un violence in this country is still too high,” he said. “Although the numbers continue to trend down, it’s still too high.”
Dames said the Royal Bahamas Police Force will continue to roll out strategic initiatives to combat crime. However, he said the police are seeing a “positive turn in the right direction”.
“Is it fast enough? No, I would be the first to say that.
“[A]t the end of the day, it’s about what relief can we bring to our Bahamian people. How can we impact our communities in a very positive way where people can go about their lives without having to be concerned about someone pulling a gun on them? These are the things that we are concerned about.”