Two armed bandits robbed EZ Mart in Beausejour, Gros Islet, on Friday about 7.20 pm and escaped with an undisclosed quantity of cash, police say.
No one was injured in the robbery and the gunmen escaped in a car after committing their crime, according to law enforcement officials.
The President of the Beausejour Community Group, Jim Joseph, in a statement to St Lucia Times, said the staff of the EZ Mart were traumatised as a result of Friday night’s armed robbery, but thankful that they were unharmed.
However, Joseph asserted that the level and frequency of violent crime in Saint Lucia have surpassed acceptable levels.
“It has to stop,” the community leader declared.
“We really need to have a zero tolerance policy enacted toward illegal gun possession and the penalties need to be stiffer – No bail. The types of acts that are being performed such as dismembering of persons and scattering limbs, is just not something we should take casually. Something needs to be done. God help our little country. Please lend a hand,” Joseph said.
“It starts in the family and community. It is not a job for the police alone. We can only fix this together. We cannot allow things like politics to divide us. We all must work together. Our future depends on it,” he explained.
The armed robbery at EZ Mart in Gros Islet is the latest in a spate of holdups of local business places.
Earlier this week, the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) issued a statement announcing that both foot and mobile patrols will be increased to afford a degree of deterrence to such acts and enable quicker police response times.
But at the same time, the RSLPF urged business places to make themselves ‘harder targets’ by implementing measures to protect their establishments, employees and customers, such as by hiring private security guards.