A 31 year old Arouca man who grabbed a bag containing TT$42,000 belonging to a Lopinot NLCB operator and made good his escape was given a sound beating and all the stolen cash recovered.
According to reports the NLCB Lotto operator left her business place near Lopinot Junction around 2 pm with a bag containing 32 000 which represented sales from last week. The woman had intended to deposit the cash at a nearby bank when she was accosted by the suspect, who grabbed the bag and ran away.
The frantic woman started shouting “thief!” “thief” which resulted in alert villagers responding with haste to the woman’s cry for help.
A group of young villagers who saw the suspect running away gave chase and they were able to detain the man because the weight of the money in the bag prevented him from running at a faster speed.
When he was cornered the man began pleading with the angry mob of villagers to be allowed to go free and said that he was sorry for his actions. But the angry villagers said that they took pride in keeping their community crime free and wanted to send a message to other criminals that such actions would not be tolerated. The man was given a sound beating before officers of the Arouca Police Station led by Sgt Almond was contacted.
The relieved operator was handed over the bag containing their hard earned cash and he also had some choice words for the suspect.
The woman thanked the villagers for their quick response and said that she was heartened that people still looked out for each other. The suspect was taken to the Arouca police station and is expected to be placed on identification parades for other robberies.
Newsday understands that the Lotto operator has promised to give a small reward to the villagers who responded to her distress call yesterday.