MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Police have now confirmed that gunmen entered the home of former Mayor of Mandeville Cecil Charlton and robbed his wife of jewellery and other valuables.
Police said about 10:00 last Thursday morning, four men who had parked their vehicle at the Charltons residence, just outside Mandeville, walked into the house which was unlocked and held Mrs Charlton at gunpoint. She was relieved of jewellery and other valuables.
It was reported that an alert helper realised what was happening and locked a connecting grille doors between the downstairs and upstairs section of the house and also called the police.
The gunmen, however, left the house and drove away before the arrival of the police.
A source said the same four men had visited the Charltons residence two days earlier, asking for someone whom they named. The men, who arose no suspicion at the time, reportedly left after they were told the person they had asked for was unknown to the household.
No one was hurt in the incident and the criminals reportedly had no contact with the ailing former Mayor who was upstairs at the time of the robbery.
Word of the robbery comes amidst rising concern in Mandeville and its environs, as well as the wider Manchester and neighbouring St Elizabeth, about what is being perceived as an upward trend in criminal activities.
Last Saturday night, farmer/vendor Hopie Powell of the remote community of Tryall in South East St Elizabeth was shot dead and her husband injured by robbers as the couple returned home from the Claremont market in St Ann.
And last Wednesday police in Mandeville held two men who had been allegedly involved in shooting a man they had attempted to rob in broad daylight in the Manchester Shopping Centre. Two guns were seized by police in that incident.
In recent months, two medical doctors have also been murdered in Mandeville.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Derrick Cochrane, who is in charge of the Police Area Three (Clarendon, Manchester and St Elizabeth), yesterday renewed calls for public vigilance and greater public co-operation with the police to fight criminals, many of whom he said were migrating from elsewhere.
Mayor of Mandeville Brenda Ramsay echoed the sentiments of the senior policeman. "We will forever be the place where they (criminals) run to as they come under pressure elsewhere; people in our communities must understand they must not give refuge and succour to these criminal elements," said the mayor.
Ramsay gave "thanks to God" that the Charltons and their helper were not hurt.