Armed bandits attacked the Morne Bakery in Castries shortly after noon on Wednesday and made off with cash.
“I was there receiving money from my drivers and shops, and in the process of receiving it, I heard a hard slamming at the glass door,” Managing Director Randall Alexander told reporters.
Alexander said the door swung open while he thought it was an unruly worker, and two gunmen appeared demanding to know where the money was.
“Get down! Pass the money!” The Managing Director recalled the gun-toting criminals saying.
“Of course, I complied because they were armed,” he said.
He said the intruders searched the premises, eventually declaring that the money they had stolen was not all there was for the taking.
“And they were right because when I saw them I had a bundle of notes in my hand and I flung it underneath the desk and they pulled the desk and saw it,” Alexander recalled.
“I told them:’ Well, take everything.’ I had some bags of coins – they took the coins as well, and while searching, a third one came in and went through the other desk drawers and the cabinet. He went through my bag -burst a desk drawer,” he stated.
The bandits also took mobile phones and other valuables before fleeing.
The Morne Bakery official acknowledged the need for business owners to secure their premises and protect themselves from armed robbery.
However, he explained that business owners could only do so much.
He asserted that the criminal mindset has to change with draconian action by the authorities.
“Just talking and trying to appeal to these hardened criminals will not have any effect. They will continue. Burglaries will be on the rise, and people’s lives will be at risk,” Alexander declared.
According to the official, it may reach the point where Saint Lucia will be labeled ungovernable and a failed state.
“We have to take draconian measures. Don’t give in to persons like the human rights people and the sycophants who will talk about the rights of the criminals,” he stated.
“Right now it is rapidly descending into chaos and it seems like the authoirities cannot do anything,” he said
“It’s either we have a country or we give it up to the criminals,” he asserted.
“On the economic side, we know what it does to the economy. Persons are discouraged from running businesses. People are discouraged from making the extra sacrifice to generate income and create employment. Persons will just throw up their arms and surrender,” he lamented.