Families move to protect themselves as kidnap fear grips West
BY ROBERT ALONZO
Residents of Goodwood Park, Westmoorings, Bayshore and surrounding areas plan to lock down their neighbourhoods and form a “western alliance” to fight crime.
They also plan to screen all suspicious vehicles entering and leaving those communities and have promised that strangers would no longer be allowed to roam the areas.
Their decision to enforce harsh measures came in a biting response to the kidnapping of Brandon Montrichard, whose father Brian, is a well-known businessman living in Goodwood Park.
Montrichard, 20, a student of UWI, was kidnapped shortly after dropping off his girlfriend home early yesterday.
Brian is chairman of Credit Chex and owns casinos Xanadu and Xante, located on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook.
Brandon also lives with his parents at Sandown Road, Goodwood Park.
His kidnapping brings to six the number of kidnap victims who remained unaccounted for up to yesterday.
He is also the18th kidnap victim for ransom so far this year, an Anti-Kidnapping Squad source said yesterday.
Reacting to this latest kidnapping, James Aboud, spokesman and chairman of the Goodwood Park Residents Association, said the western alliance would be against “thuggery.”
He said residents planned to lock down the neighbourhood and screen all suspicious vehicles and pedestrians entering and leaving the community.
Aboud said his association also planned to install guard booths and swing gates, while special patrols would be launched in the upscale western communities.
He said the implementation of these anti-crime measures would be done with the assistance of the police.
“We will not allow strangers to drive through the area anymore,” Aboud said.
AKS members under ASP David Nedd were following up on certain leads into Montrichard’s kidnapping last night.
Sources said Montrichard left his home at around 2.10 am to drop off his girlfriend at Westmoorings in his red SUV.
At around 2.30, his father received an anonymous call.
The unidentified man reportedly said, “Mr Montrichard, we have your son. You need your rest, so go back and sleep.”
The call was reportedly made from the Montrichard’s cellphone.
Police said they believed he was kidnapped while on his way back home.
A source said the kidnappers were apparently stalking him for sometime.
AKS members said they were told of the kidnapping at around 7 am.
Police launched an investigation and Montrichard’s SUV was found abandoned on Lady Young Road, not too far from Belmont.
Investigators said they were not told if any ransom demand had been made.
Members of the Crime Scene Unit conducted an examination of the SUV yesterday.
Brian Montrichard said yesterday that the family was too distraught to be interviewed.
“The ambition of converting the nation into Fortress T&T does not fortify small communities and community groups must be now assertive in the face of public authorities that thus far seem incapable of providing even protection for its citizens,” Aboud said.
Meanwhile, AKS members said they had no leads in the abduction of gardener Kevin Rahim who was snatched outside a bar in Aranguez on Wednesday night.
Police said the Rahim’s family had not received any ransom demand.
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