A number of houses in the ‘Two Miles’ area of St Andrew have been taken over by thugs who are now offering them for rent and even sale, THE STAR has learnt.
THE STAR heard of the situation during a recent visit to the community and residents claim members of the ‘Rat Bat’ gang have taken control of a number of the houses which were left unoccupied when the occupants decided to flee the volatile community.
Thugs reportedly kicked off the locked doors to the houses and gained entry.
The men are said to be offering rooms for rent as low as $1,000 per month. Some houses are also said to be available for sale but the prices are negotiable, residents claim.
“Dem have house a rent and house a sell cause di people dem run weh … So di man dem jus take ova di house dem and a control dem,”one resident who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
“House a gi weh cheap, cheap roun ya, yu can get one now if yu want eno, wait mek mi call di man dem fi yu,” another resident jokingly said.
THE STAR was told that the captured houses are either rented to persons close to the thugs or occupied by the thugs themselves.
Almost all the houses are also said to have illegal water and electricity connections.
One person who claims to be close to the gang also said persons have tried to recover their homes but were commanded to leave the area since they already fled.
“People come back yes, but di man dem mek dem know seh dem did run weh already so dem fi jus leave,” the person explained.
Meanwhile, the police say though the Rat Bat gang is of major concern to them, they are not aware of these claims.
The west Kingston police cited a lack of cooperation between residents and the police as the reason why they were unaware of the situation.
“The Rat Bat gang is giving a lot of trouble and we are working towards dismantling that gang but we need the help of residents but they are afraid so sometimes things happen and we don’t know until long after or when something deadly happens,” an officer said.
The police promised to investigate the development.