TENANTS at the Gasparillo Mall believe Monday’s brazen robbery by two gunmen was as a result of poor security on the compound.
According to reports, around noon on Monday, two men — one dressed like a Muslim woman — robbed Precious Gold jewellry store.
CCTV footage from the robbery shows mall security and employees looking on from outside of the store as the men broke glass display cases and filled several bags with jewellry. The store remained closed yesterday.
Facilities manager Chris Phillip told Newsday, Monday’s incident was the first since the mall opened three years ago and security has since been beefed up. Phillip said the mall belongs to the Eden K Properties company and management were satisfied with police response.
Asked how many security officers were on duty at the time of the robbery, Phillip said he was not willing to disclose that information. But tenants, speaking under the condition of anonymity, said they have been complaining for some time about the lack of security. “I could have predicted this would have happened, security here is very poor,” one tenant said.
“We have been complaining for so long but it’s like our complaints fall on deaf ears. There are only two officers inside the mall and bandits know it is an easy target because most times, it’s women officers. I believe those guys were watching the mall for some time before trying this, they had to know how easy it would have been.”
The tenant said although this is the first robbery, shoplifters have stolen items from store owners before.
“There have been petty thieves taking things from stores and recently there was a robbery at a store a little distance from the mall and those bandits used the mall as an escape route.”
Another tenant said while he agreed that security was poor, he felt the bigger issue is the failure by Police Commissioner Stephen Williams to grant firearm users licenses to businesspeople.
“They refuse to give us gun licenses so we are at the mercy of the bandits, when they run into your place with a gun, they have all the power,” he said.
“But if they started giving us the licenses, with proper training, we would be able to defend ourselves and our businesses.”
Gasparillo police are continuing investigations.