Gunmen hold up Banfield Shell Service Station
July 27, 2010
Gunmen hold up Banfield Shell Service Station

It’s far from business as usual for employees of the Banfield’s Shell Service Station on Grenville Street, Kingstown this week, after a brazen hold up by armed thugs on Friday night.{{more}}

Evelyn Doyle and Sharon Evans say that they are still traumatized by the ordeal and are trying to come to grips with the experience; a first for both of them after a total of 40 years of working in the gas station business.

Doyle and Evans were two of three women who were on duty just after 8pm on a busy Friday night as drivers pulled in to fill their tanks.

Both Evans and Doyle were in the building of the Service Station when the bandits struck.

“We were counting some silvers on top the counter,” recalls Doyle. “I was just finished dealing with a customer, when I hear one (the robber) saying to the next one, ‘Man way you doing man, way you doing?’”

At this point, Evans said that she noticed that someone had apparently fallen on the ground.

“When I look down, I noticed that the person’s face was masked and I knew we were in trouble, and I say ‘Wait, just so we getting robbed?’”

The women indicated that the second man was holding a hand gun and that he was accompanied by another man who was not wearing a mask.

He is unfamiliar, they said.

“They come inside and say ‘We want all the money, we want everything,” Doyle continued.

“So they take up some silvers that was already packed, and after they find that was all they get, the one in the mask point the gun at me and ask me to open the drawer, and he take what he could get in that one and they run out.”

Customers and other people who were in the vicinity were oblivious of the crime taking place, until the alarm was raised.

The station, which has been in operation for over 35 years, was prematurely closed for the night, as members of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Special Services Unit (SSU) and Rapid Response Unit (RRU) scoured the scene for clues and spoke to witnesses.

The women believe that improved security measures, including a greater police presence in the area could have served as a deterrent to this crime.

“I would like to see a lot of police security around the area, especially later in the evening,” lamented Evans, who has been a gas station attendant for 16 years.

“Especially when it’s a females shift,” added Doyle, who has been an attendant for 24 years, nineteen of which were at Banfield’s.

SEARCHLIGHT contacted General Manager of the station Robert Banfield, who indicated that he was unable to comment until discussions had been held with Shell.

Banfield indicated that as far as he could remember, this was the first time that the business had been targeted by robbers.

At press time it was not yet determined how much money was taken in the heist. (JJ)