Sun | Dec 16, 2018

It is 'Cruz', not 'Prekeh', say cops - Much-feared gangster still on the run

Published:Tuesday | November 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMAdrian Frater and Hopeton Bucknor/Gleaner Writers
Yesterday, security forces locked down Cambridge in St James following a shootout with gangster Delano ‘Prekeh’ Wilmot and his right-hand man, Richard ‘Cruz’ Anderson. Anderson was killed in the gun battle.
Security forces on the hunt for gangster Delano ‘Prekeh’ Wilmot.
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Residents of Cambridge and Retrieve in St James are begging the security forces not to leave their community until wanted man Delano 'Prekeh' Wilmot is caught as they fear his wrath following yesterday's killing of his right-hand man in a gun battle with the security forces.

"We are begging the soldiers and police to stay here with us until this man (Wilmot) is caught," a resident told The Gleaner team. "Like how they (the security forces) kill his friend, we are sure he must be very mad, and if they leave us here with him, nobody knows what he might do."

Yesterday, the community woke up to heavy gunfire and helicopters flying overhead as the gangsters and the security forces engaged each other in a fierce gunfight. When the shooting ended, one gangster laid dead with an M16 assault rifle beside him.

A police source informed The Gleaner that the dead man was Wilmot, who has been leading remnants of the Ratty gang in various nefarious activities, including murders and extortion. However, some three hours after the initial report, the police told The Gleaner that the dead man was in fact Richard 'Cruz' Anderson, another much-feared member of the notorious gang, and not Wilmot.

"I know both of them, and I am positive that the dead man is Cruz, not Prekeh," said the policeman. "The mistaken identity might have been caused by the fact that both have similar body types and both altered their appearance through bleaching."

When Major Basil Jarrett, civil-military cooperation and media affairs officer at the Jamaica Defence Force, was contacted for a comment on the operation and the identity of the dead man, he admitted that while he was aware that the men who were being targeted were indeed Wilmot and Anderson, he could not yet confirm which of them had been killed.

... Third time Prekeh has escaped

Residents of Cambridge and Retrieve in St James were not able to shed any light on the identity of the dead man as, according to them, because of the extensive damage to the deceased's head caused by numerous bullets, they found it difficult to say if it was the much-feared Delano 'Prekeh' Wilmot or his right-hand man, Richard 'Cruz' Anderson.

"It hard fi tell. The head buss up and swell, and although the two man dem look alike inna body, it hard fi tell," one person said.

Yesterday afternoon, members of the security forces were busily combing bushes in a section of the community called 'Brown Land', which is believed to be the main hiding place for the gangsters.

"Di area is a one road in and one road out, but that property stretch fi several miles through thick vegetation. It can tek you to other communities," explained a resident. "Dem (the gangsters) know the bush good, that is why dem so hard fi ketch."

The police have described Wilmot as a heartless killer who must be considered armed and dangerous at all times. This is believed to be the third time that he has escaped a confrontation with the security forces. In one of the instances, two soldiers were shot and injured.