Jowelle: I will bounce back | News Extra

San Fernando businesswoman Jowelle De Souza says she is happy to be alive after a home invasion in which she was tied up at gunpoint and robbed on Wednesday evening.

De Souza, 53, and two associates were tied up by at least five masked men who entered the house on Meadow Drive, Palmiste, about 7.20pm.

De Souza is the owner of Hair by Jowelle and is a well-known animal activist.

She was appointed a temporary opposition senator in 2022 and unsuccessfully contested the San Fernando West seat as an independent candidate in the 2015 general election.

A police report shows that De Souza was in a bedroom when a masked man entered with a gun. Police said there were at least four other gunmen on the property.

De Souza was at her business address in Independence Avenue, San Fernando, when the Express visited yesterday.

She said: “Last night, around 7.20, intruders came in. It looked like there were about five or six of them, all masked, and they tied us up: myself, a helper and a gardener. They walked through the back of the house, we were still clearing and clearing the yard. I was in my bedroom. They dragged me away, beat me and put ties on us.”

Police said the intruders took a safe containing documents from the bedroom, Louis Vuitton handbags, two Apple iPads and other items.

De Souza said the men were all carrying high-powered weapons.

San Fernando CID officers responded and retrieved closed circuit CCTV footage from the scene.

A search was conducted, but the suspects were not found.

De Souza said: ‘This is taking its toll on me, but I have come back from worse than this. I’m here today in my business, after a struggle last night. I wouldn’t let a few people bring me down. It is a storm that I would bounce back from stronger, I will bounce back and I will continue to look for these people and hope that justice is done.”

De Souza said she was trying to contact the Minister of National Security

Fitzgerald Hinds, but was unsuccessful.

“I never expected this to happen. I feel numb. I’ve heard about it from many people, but experiencing it is difficult. They hit you and beat you and do a lot of different things to you. I’m glad I’m alive,” she said.

De Souza called on authorities to take control of weapons brought into the country, as her attackers were armed with “weapons of mass destruction.”

“The weapons were bigger than the people carrying them. I tried to reach the Minister of National Security, but he did not contact me. I hope the police will take interest in this and find the people,” she added.

Since the incident, De Souza said she has received calls from her many clients in Trinidad and abroad, including Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC.

There was an immediate reaction on social media to the attack on the popular businesswoman, with De Souza receiving expressions of support and concern.

“People wake up, security cameras in the front and back and doorbells to warn you, extra lights that come on when someone is at the door late at night. Learn how to use a gun and take safety precautions for your safety,” one person wrote.

Another said: ‘Name a time when the police recovered something stolen or caught the thieves? It seems that there is always complicity, because nothing ever appears. So they want promotions and increases, ‘they are parasites’.”

Many people shared their own experiences as crime victims and called on authorities to “get their act together” and work to catch the criminals.

• Anyone with information about this crime and others can contact CrimeStoppers at 800-TIPS.