Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 14th 2014 Contents SHALIZA HASSANALI
At the height of the Christmas
season, two areas in Cascade---
Knightsbridge and Idlewild---are
under attack by criminal elements.
The robberies have residents of the
two upscale neighbouring commu-
nities living on the edge and in fear.
Confirming the thefts via e-mail
on December 4 was MP for Port-of-
Spain North/St Ann s West Patricia
Mc Intosh said the residents often
felt threatened by squatters who pen-
etrated the St Ann s/Cascade/Hololo
community from the Lady Young
Road and committed petty larceny.
"But we are concerned that these
criminal acts would escalate and
become more serious," Mc Intosh
Earlier this year, Mc Intosh said
there were a series of robberies on
upper Hutton Road, St Ann s, as well.
At Hutton Road, Mc Intosh said,
the robberies were committed by one
robber who lived in the area and was
known to residents.
"This was brought to my attention
at a meeting in St Ann s, in May of
this year, to which I had invited the
then head of the Belmont Police Sta-
tion, Inspector Smith, and his offi-
Mc Intosh said they discussed the
issue and the police subsequently
held the robber, but he was let out
of jail because witnesses were afraid
to give evidence.
Subsequent to this, Mc Intosh said,
in October, she arranged another
meeting, which was attended by two
deputy commissioners and other
"At this meeting the crime issues
were fully ventilated and the police
promised to intensify their vigilance
of the area."
Though she left the country in
November, Mc Intosh said the St
Ann s/Cascade/Hololo community
group of activists (StACH) had
informed her of two burglaries in
Residents and guests
held at knife and gunpoint
When the Sunday Guardian
recently visited Knightsbridge, one
resident who asked to remain anony-
mous related that the thefts began
almost two months ago.
"The robbers have been targeting
Knightsbridge religiously. They would
rob residents and their guests either
every week or every other week. They
have also been attacking Idlewild,"
the resident said.
Although a sign on Knightsbridge
Road said the area was under a 24-
hour neighbourhood watch and police
have beefed up their patrols in the
community, this has not deterred the
Recalling an incident last month,
the resident said she was driving up
Knightsbridge Road around midnight
when she saw three men run past
her car and duck into Watlins Road,
where they hid in some bushes.
"As I proceeded to drive, I saw a
man and woman flagging down my
car. I stopped only to be told that
they were just robbed by the men.
They said they were about to enter
the driveway of a resident when they
were held up in their vehicle," she
The couple were robbed of jewelry,
cash and cellphones.
While the couple were awaiting
the police s arrival, another neighbour
rushed over to complain that a tenant
and her daughter were held up
moments before by men fitting the
In another incident, the resident
said armed thieves sneaked into a
home one night, while guests were
being entertained, and robbed them.
"The owner of the house forgot to
snap the lock on his front gate when
he stepped out. The robbers were
watching from across the road and
gained entry into the property. The
guests were held up at gunpoint,
while a knife was placed at the throat
of a little boy. Every time you hear
a robbery it is a little more concern-
ing," the resident said.
The resident said she also heard
that passengers in both communities
were repeatedly ambushed and
robbed at nights after alighting from
around with tools
One resident of Cascade River Gar-
dens, which is within close proximity
of Knightsbridge, was also held up
Since the spate of robberies, neigh-
bours have been forwarding e-mails
to one another to be on the lookout
for the men armed with screwdrivers.
"It appears they are combing the
Cascade area through the river. They
are all black, tall, well-built with ban-
danas. From what I discovered, from
my encounter, they are walking
around with tools to break locks and
doors and cut wires," one of the e-
The e-mail further stated that
although the Belmont Police have
been responding to their distress calls,
the police have been unable to make
One e-mail dated November 21
stated that the men would enter Cas-
cade on foot, commit their robberies
and disappear into the Cascade River.
From there, they would use man-
made trails running along the Lady
Young Road as their escape route.
StACH member: Residents urged
to take necessary precaution
A member of StACH, who
requested anonymity, said from last
December to June of this year, there
were several house breakings in Cas-
cade and St Ann s. There are approx-
imately 3,000 households in Cascade
and St Ann s.
The thefts, Sunday Guardian learnt,
were more numerous during the Car-
nival and Christmas seasons.
While most of the victims were
relieved of personal items, several
homes lost television sets, laptops,
iPads, microwaves and other valuable
"The only thing we can do is alert
residents to be responsible and to
take all necessary precautions when
leaving and entering their homes."
While some residents have taken
extreme measures by hiring private
security, others have invested in guard
dogs and installed surveillance cam-
eras, burglar alarms and wrought iron
gates in and around their properties.
The member confirmed that the
witness to the St Ann s robbery was
intimidated by someone who was an
associate of the suspect.
"We can only hope that people
will be brave enough to come forward
to identify the bandits," the member
Businessman: Thieves operate in-
dependently and in gangs
A business owner/operator in Cas-
cade believes that the criminals are
associated with gangs from St Fran-
cois Valley Road who deal in organised
"While one or two of them operate
independently, most of them steal in
groups and sell the items to a main
man or buyer."
He said from 2012, there were
between 15 and 20 robberies in Cas-
cade, half of which were violent in
"They are not just coming to steal.
They are inflicting harm on residents.
Many of the victims were elderly
folks who reside in First and Second
Avenue in Lower Cascade. They were
hog tied and beaten. I remember a
senior citizen being struck with the
edge of a paint tin on her face which
ripped her flesh wide open. My wife
too was also attacked after they
invaded my home."
Praising the police for their quick
responses, the businessman and other
residents suggested an army presence
along St Francois Valley and Lady
Young roads to nab the robbers after
they committed their crimes.
"Christmas is approaching and I
can t even have an outdoor party for
my clients or staff members. Having
a party can put people at risk...a risk
I cannot afford to take knowing that
they frequently scope out the area
for their next target and what they
are capable of."
A December 4 e-mail was for-
warded to Marcia Hope, director of
corporate communications at the
Ministry of National Security, about
the robberies in Cascade.
Hope said the questions were for-
warded to the T&T Police Service for
However, up to late yesterday no
response was forthcoming.
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt December 14, 2014
in Cascade recently.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
...residents call for army as robbers
walk with guns, knives, screwdrivers
"They are not just coming
to steal. They are inflicting
harm on residents. Many of
the victims were elderly
folks who reside in First
and Second Avenue in
Lower Cascade. They were
hog tied and beaten. I
remember a senior citizen
being struck with the edge
of a paint tin on her face
which ripped her flesh wide
open. My wife too was also
attacked after they invaded
my home." ---Resident
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