Police insist robbery motive (Audio)

The police insist that the gang that forced its way into the house of journalist Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema in Bambalapitiya today had gone there with the motive of committing a robbery.
Police spokesman SP Budhika Siriwardena, addressing a special press briefing this afternoon, said that the police have identified the men involved in the crime and they have also recovered a three-wheeler which belonged to the robbers.
He said that robber gangs had been operating in Bambalapitiya using three-wheelers, and they suspect this gang may have some links with those robbers.
The police spokesman also said that while cash and other valuables stolen from Abeywickrema’s house had been recovered from the gang, there were no files or documents in their possession.
Earlier there were reports that the gang had searched for some files while they were in the house for over an hour before they attempted to flee when the police arrived.
“If they had other motives they would not have spent so much time in the house. So this is clearly robbery,” he said.
He said the police arrived at the house after Mandana’s husband Romesh Abeywickrema called 119 and reported suspicious activity in his house.
Romesh Abeywickrema was not at home when the gang entered the house at the time his wife, child and parents of the wife were inside.
The police spokesman said that 4 policemen were injured during the altercation with the gang and all four robbers have also been hospitalized. One robber had been killed. (Colombo Gazette)