Tuesday 25 June, 2019

Junction residents nervy after heavily armed robbers take millions

Residents of the once sleepy town of Junction in St Elizabeth are at their nerves edge following last weekend’s multi-million dollar robbery by heavily armed men at a popular supermarket in the area.

It was the latest in a series of gun robberies that have taken place in the town and its environs in recent times.

Reports are that thieves armed with high powered assault rifles swarmed the In Town Supermarket on Sunday and held customers and staff there at gunpoint as they demanded cash.

The robbers reportedly made off with millions of dollars and two licensed firearms which belonged to the owner of the supermarket and a customer who was shopping at the time of the robbery.

The Corporate Communications Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force has confirmed the incident.

One resident of Junction said the community has been infested with strange-looking men in recent times and believes those men are responsible for the surge of robberies in a section of Jamaica that has been relatively crime free.

“I don’t know if it’s because of the state of emergency in the west but, in recent times, the place full of strange man with bleach out face and tight pants. Over the last month or so, a lot of bars and little shops get rob by gunmen. This is not the Junction we know. We not used to them things around here,” the resident, who asked not to be identified, told Loop News.

Junction is one of the main town centres in the farming belt of South St Elizabeth. That section of Jamaica, known as the bread basket of the island, produces most of the escellion, thyme, tomatoes and other provisions that supply the rest of the country. A high percentage of its residents are farmers.

The robbery took place just metres from the Junction Police station which was converted from a residence.

Police in the town, while they do occasionally deal with cases of robbery, mainly face complaints of domestic disputes or praedial larceny.

A female resident, who resides in a district close to the town, complained that the police are under-resourced and called on the authorities to boost up the stock of service vehicles and deploy more cops in the community to stem the rising tide of robberies.

“The poor police them don’t have enough vehicles. Not enough police station down here. In the past them never have too much to do but now the thiefing boy dem start take a serious set pan we and we hope them don’t wait till an innocent get shot and killed before them hear we cry,” the woman said. 

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