Call made for more cops in Junction after $-m robbery

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JUNCTION, St Elizabeth – Cetany Holness, councillor for the Junction Division (JLP) in St Elizabeth South Eastern, is calling on the authorities to immediately deploy additional police here, following a barefaced robbery at a leading supermarket by several armed men Sunday night.

Millions of dollars were allegedly taken from the supermarket owner and cashiers, while shoppers were robbed of cash and valuables.

Two licensed firearms belonging to the supermarket owner and a businessman who was shopping at the facility at the time were taken by the robbers, police reported.

Holness told the Jamaica Observer by telephone that Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson and Minister of National Security Horace Chang need to act quickly to get more police personnel to the area.

“Junction is a growing town and business is growing and we believe that we are being targeted by gunmen because we are perceived as a soft target,” said Holness.

The councillor suggested that the state of emergency in St James, Hanover and Westmoreland may have left the St Elizabeth Police Division short of personnel.

He told the Observer that a number of robberies have taken place in the Junction area, especially at bars, with uncomfortable frequency in recent months.

Additionally, Holness recalled that another leading Junction supermarket was robbed in similar fashion to Sunday night’s incident, a few months ago.

Head of the St Elizabeth police Superintendent Catherine Lord neither confirmed nor denied a report that the suspects were intercepted by a police patrol and that a shootout ensued in nearby Bull Savannah.

She gave little information, but said “investigations are progressing” and that “my detectives have been working very hard to see how we can build an airtight case”.

She said that in addition to police investigation, the Independent Commission of Investigations – which probes alleged wrongdoing by police and other agents of the State – was actively involved. An internal police administrative review was also taking place, she said.

— Garfield Myers

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