By Romila Boodram and Mondale Smith The worst fear of Guyanese about the increase in criminal activities from the beginning of this year has been buttressed by statistics from the Guyana Police Force.The force has recorded a 12 percent increase in serious crimes between January and September in comparison to the same period last year.The apparent rise in crime, mostly gun robberies, is a cause for major concern among the business sector and the populace.Most crimes are committed by “CG-biker boys” but according to Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum, the criminals are not limited to just that kind of transportation.Last week,Luke Glendening Red Wings Jersey, two Kaieteur News reporters, visited several areas in and around Georgetown and a number of concerns were raised about the safety of citizens especially since there are reports of persons being robbed, shot and even killed.Worst still, is the expressed psychological fears that remain after a gun had been placed to the head or in the mouth of victims.Fear abounds in the commerce-driven Regent Street especially among the business operators, not just for their safety but that of their staff and persons leaving work.This is accredited mainly to the brazen and uncaring actions of the ‘stick up and pass it or I will shoot’ individuals,David Perron Penguins Jersey, who often hover like buzzards in commercial Georgetown and other parts of the country, pouncing at will on the unsuspecting.Worried and concerned for their safety, the persons who spoke to this newspaper requested that their identity and the names of their businesses remain anonymous.“This thing is really out of hand. These days you always got to be looking over you shoulders. At first staff used to work late and not be afraid to walk down the road alone but now they have to walk in groups and even that ain’t saving them from getting stick up for their phones and their salary,” an upper Regent Street businesswoman admitted.Those sentiments are echoed as questions of security concerns mount. “It’s not that the police are not doing work because we does get letters from Commander Clifton Hickens but to me they need to do more patrols everyday not just during the Christmas season.“The boys dem does come out just before work done and does be riding up and down then before you know it, somebody get stick up and robbed,” a store owner said.Many have videos to prove these allegations too. Some say that they have even submitted videos to the police yet it seems that the robberies continue.Another business woman told this newspaper that for security reasons she does not allow her staff to work late but if they do, she would normally give them a ride home.“Many people does get robbed but we don’t report it cause all you ever hear is the police are investigating. Sometimes when you go to the police they make you feel like if you committed a crime. Plus when these boys rob you of $3M or so they (police) does got you wasting hours and then the penalty is far less than what you lost and before you know it the boys back on the street.”“One of my relatives’ home was broken into… The window they broke was over $100,000 and most of the times, when the police get these people,Tanner Glass Rangers Jersey, the bail they go on is far less,” a businesswoman said.Another business owner said that she was not robbed in her store but while she was heading home from work she was attacked by a young man.“I leave work in a good frame of mind to head home. Then when I near reach home I see a guy running towards me and before I know it he said ‘pass the bag or I will kill you’ with expletives. I resisted and he grabbed on to my bag and throw me on the ground and start stomping me up.”According to the woman,Mark Messier Rangers Jersey, the robber was no older than 17. He escaped with her bag containing cash, personal documents and her firearm.“That was in August (last) and till now I am afraid. Plus another gun (referring to her stolen weapon) is on the road and in the wrong hands.”She did not report the matter to the police because she dubbed it “a waste of time.”A few doors down, another business owner said he does not open his store late anymore but stated that “time does matter anymore, dem lil boys does come any time… them break in me place and carry away a set of things valued at millions but I ain’t report that because that is a waste of time and dem idiots (robbers) know it too.”He continued, “But my main reason for not reporting it is because I don’t want others to know the amount of money I normally get or it will give others (robbers) ideas.”These robbers,Brett Hull Red Wings Jersey, who transverse ‘their targeted area’ on motorcycles, no longer target wealthy individuals.“These boys are like hungry animals, just roaming the streets looking for prey. At first, if you had a lil cheap phone, you were safe but now,Chris Chelios Red Wings Jersey, them men robbing and shooting you if you refuse to hand over a $2000 phone,” a security guard said.There are also robbers, who are well equipped with the right tools to break and enter homes.“They trail your movement and enter your homes with heavy duty nippers that they use to cut your grill works and this is happening a lot. Sometimes people go home to an almost empty house,” a woman said.She added, “The other day we catch one of dem and he end up in court pleading not guilty while wearing me friend shoes. This was pointed out to the magistrate yet he was sent to jail for a measly two years. Something got to be done about the laws to fix these li’l boys who got people always looking over their shoulders all the time.”Recently,Dylan Larkin Red Wings Jersey, two youngsters broke into a local cyclist’s home and carried away more than $4M in high end racing bikes as well as laptops. They were caught trying to sell the items“People are living in fear more than ever because of these li’l boys who think people owe them a living.”Among the recommendations were that persons caught selling stolen items should be jailed or made to pay triple the cost of the stolen goods.Also, parents,Braydon Coburn Lightning Jersey, who encourage their children to steal, should be penalized.“It got parents, who are quick to say,Chris Kunitz Penguins Jersey, ‘Not my son. He is not a thief’ but yet he taking home money and other people things at his mother home and he not working. If he didn’t thief, where did he get them from?” one woman questioned.