St Elizabeth NE MP’s hardware robbed of ‘millions’

St Elizabeth NE MP’s hardware robbed of ‘millions’

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, August 13, 2020

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SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — Thieves made off with “millions” in cash from Levon’s Electrical and Hardware here, which is owned by outgoing St Elizabeth North Eastern Member of Parliament (MP) Evon Redman and his brother.

Redman, who will not be seeking re-election at the September 3 polls, told the Jamaica Observer that thieves prised through a shutter and doors to enter the establishment sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

“When I got in just after 7 this morning, I realised that the lock on the grille was cut off, and then after careful examination, I discovered that the padlocks on the shutter were also cut. When we opened the shutter, we realised that the glass door that was behind the shutter, the glass was removed and carefully put aside. They broke a wooden door and cut through a metal door to gain access to the store,” Redman told the Observer by telephone yesterday.

He said the thieves ransacked the hardware’s office in search of cash.

“They… went into the vault area and removed it. They took all the cash from [Tuesday’s] sales and any other money that might have been there. We would have had money at the money transfer area, that would have been removed. Change that would have been left with the cashier, every dime has been removed,” he said.

“Filing cabinets [were] all turned upside down… it’s a total disaster zone,” Redman added.

The MP was unable to provide an estimated figure for the amount of money stolen.

“Right now, I can’t tell exactly how much, but I know it is a fair amount of money. I am not sure as to the exact figure it is in the millions. We operate money transfer and we make large payouts on a daily basis,” he said.

The thieves also took the digital video recorder (DVR) for the closed-circuit television system.

Head of the St Elizabeth police, Deputy Superintendent Narda Simms, is appealing for support from business operators in the area.

“Sometimes they have cameras that are positioned in a direction that can aid the investigation, but until it happens to them, they are sometimes unwilling to come forward. I am imploring them to come forward and assist us in whatever way they can,” she said.

In the meantime, Redman is uncretain about how he will recover from the loss.

“I don’t know how I am going to bounce back but I trust the Creator, the one who has helped me for the business to have succeeded to where it has reached, and the same way He helped me to that point, I am sure he will guide me as to the way to go, whether I pack up business, go home and sit down, or continue business,” he told the Observer.

He said a security firm that was contracted to provide surveillance did not notice the thieves when the alarm system sent out an alert.

“They got the signal, but the team just came, looked and walked around the building, at that time the criminals were most likely in the shop, but what they [thieves] did after going in, they drew down the shutter and closed back the gate,” Redman said.

DSP Simms is urging business operators to desist from storing large sums of cash at their establishments.

“We are still in the preliminary investigation in relation to this matter, but what I can say is that there continues to be a lot of money that people leave on their premises, instead of transporting some of it to a safer place like a bank. Some of those jobs [heists] seem to be people who have knowledge of the set-up and operation of these businesses,” she said.

“…We continue to work to see how best we can sensitise business persons as well as to provide greater presence. Notwithstanding, it is something that we are challenged with, and we continue to work on,” DSP Simms added.

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