After two days of fun, drama and skill, the Jamaican pair of Jeffrey Panton and co-driver Mike Fennell Jr were declared provisional winners of the FIA/NACAM/JMMC Rally Jamaica 2015 motorsport event, which concluded yesterday afternoon on the waterfront, downtown Kingston. It underlined another triumphant year for Panton and Fennel, who have had a successful stint in rallying across the region in 2015. The two have had their fair share of successes on the Barbados circuit. “Though it is a win, it is not satisfying for me because one of our main competitors, John Powell, took ill and could take no further part yesterday. We were looking forward to the rivalry,” Panton told The Gleaner, shortly after arriving safely at the Bank of Nova Scotia car park, downtown Kingston. At the lunch halt in Bog Walk yesterday, Panton explained how he had to be extremely cautious negotiating the terrains on the latter stages on Saturday because the course had become slippery as a result of the rain. “We were very cautious, hence we were able to accumulate a comfortable lead coming into this morning (yesterday), said Panton, who drove one of the two WRC Ford Focus cars. According to Panton, he intends to have dialogue with a number of the top drivers in the region, with a view to staging a regional rally championship next year. Up to press time, in second place was the French team of Simon Jean Joseph and co-driver Jack Boyere, driving a 2008 Ford Focus WRC. “It is a pleasure to be here rallying with the boys. The rally has been very good, even though there was not much competition. There was no battle. We had a difficult start on Saturday, but we pulled through. We were expecting a bit more spectators. Among the things that I wanted to achieve today (yesterday) was to demonstrate to the public how we can use a small car like this and do a good job,” Jean-Joseph told The Gleaner during the lunch period. Unofficially, in third place was Jetcon’s Joel Jackson and Dmitri Dawkins, driving a 2008 Subaru STI. Approaching the final stage in Bog Walk, last year’s winners, Kyle Gregg and co-driver Hugh Hutchinson, were occupying third place, but a sudden downpour, combined with other acts of nature, took down a tree, which fell into the path of Gregg’s 2007 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10. They were on to the final leg in downtown Kingston when this happened. That was the end of the rally for them. The organisers are expected to announce the respective winners, officially, this evening, during the prize-giving ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston. Happy overall
– $200,000 found on teenager banditAt least seven motorcars were stolen while a few others were broken into and a few houses burglarised over the past few days in New Amsterdam, Berbice.On Friday, Divisional Commander Assistant Commissioner Paul Langevine, DSM, told Guyana Times that he was unaware of several cars being stolen.More alarming, is the fact that teenagers are being used to carry out these criminal acts. One of the perpetrators has been identified as a student who attends a special needs school in New Amsterdam.There have been concerns over the police’s apparent slothfulness in responding to the reports and more so, there are no systems in place to prevent an occurrence.One of the car owners reportedly caught a teenager in his car red-handed and gave him a good flogging but the police are now threatening to charge him with assault.The motorcar belonging to Hikel that crashed into the utility poleAnother car owner reported that he woke up and found his car broken into. Upon checking, $12,000 was removed and the ignition wires had been cut which is evidence that the perpetrator was trying to steal the car.One businessman, Jacob Hikel, recalled that he was injured when a teenager attacked him with an ice pick during a home invasion. His car was also stolen.Hikel told Guyana Times that he heard footsteps in the house and thought it was a relative but in the wee hours of Friday morning, he heard his car engine start and as he looked through his bedroom window, he saw his car being driven out of the yard.According to Hikel, he dashed out of the bedroom and went to the first floor where he was greeted by an open door. When he got outside, he was attacked by a teenager with an ice pick. The young man then jumped the fence and escaped.Meanwhile, the grill work to one of the windows was cut at his Lot 63-64 Vrymens Ervin home. It appears as though someone jumped into the verandah and cut the grill to gain entry to the building.The lock on the front door was also wrenched off. The perpetrators reportedly removed a computer and a music box along with alcoholic beverages and grocery from the refrigerator.Meanwhile, as the car drove away, Hikel gave chase on foot for about 200 meters but eventually gave up.The grill work to the window of Hikel’s house was cut with a nipper“I see the car turn around and start coming towards me very fast and I had to jump into the corner to save myself,” he told Guyana Times.Surveillance footage captured the car, PPP 7796, crashing into a utility pole. The pole broke and fell onto the vehicle but the occupants managed to escape unhurt with a number of items including a vacuum cleaner and a headphone as well as documents.Meanwhile, several other persons have reported that their homes were burglarised – one such house is owned by Denise Brutus of Lot 72 Errol’s Ville.According to Brutus, she woke up and found the back door open and her 55-inch flat screen television missing. An electronic tablet and three flash drives were also taken by the perpetrators.She explained that several louvre panes were removed from a window to gain access into the building. The woman noted that on the following night, more louvre panes were removed from another window but the bandits could not gain entry due to the bars.However, the bandits went to the upper flat where Merissa Brutus lives. She said she looked through her bedroom door and saw the front door rocking and got up and armed herself but the perpetrators aborted their attack.In addition, on Monday last, Denise was having a conversation with a friend and based on the features of a 13-year-old boy, suspicions were raised. He was cornered and upon questioning, he admitted that he helped the others to take out the louvre panes but did not go in the house.He was handed over to the police where $200,000 was allegedly found in his possession. He reportedly told investigators that he broke into the New Amsterdam Central Islamic Mosque at Main and King Streets, where he stole the money.The window with the missing louvre panesImam of the Mosque, Mosses Haniff, told this publication that the place of worship was broken into and the contribution box was broken into and the contents are missing.“I can’t say how much money was in it at the time because it was donations,” he explained.Haniff said the matter was reported to the police and was surprised when this publication informed him that someone had confessed to taking the money to the police.“The police have not gotten on to me and that was since Monday, they should have by now,” he said.