By Chrisbert Garcia: Just before closing time last night at around 8:45, James Store in Punta Gorda (PG) Town was robbed by three masked men armed with guns, who assaulted the store’s Chinese owners before exchanging gunfire with police officers and making their escape.
According to information received, the trio first tied up the security guard and hit him to the head with a weapon then proceeded to tie all other employees, as well as the male and female store owners, who were additionally beaten.
The culprits then filled a bag with money before attempting to flee through a back door but were confronted by police officers who had been alerted by neighbors that saw what was unfolding.
That’s when the thieves began firing shots at the police, who then returned fire and forced them to retreat, dropping the bag with the stolen cash in the process.
Officers later retrieved the bag from bushes behind the store and sometime before 1:00 this morning at the PG Police Station, a count was done which determined that a little over $50,000 would have been stolen without the quick work of responding officers.
So far, police say they have detained three persons of interest as investigations continue.
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