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#418494 - 10/12/11 09:11 AM Heist of coastguard vessel
Marty Offline

Was it an inside job that caused thieves to pull off a daring midnight burglary at what should have been a highly guarded military compound? Not much has been confirmed, but despite military grade weapons, a successful heist of a Coast Guard vessel was pulled off at the Belize Coastguard Compound on Sunday night. While the thieves were getting away, shots were fired in their direction but the hijackers escaped on the stolen skiff. Both Coastguard and police personnel were on high alert over the weekend searching the coastline for the boat since any exposure of the story would cause an embarrassment. Today the Police Press Officer indicated he would not comment on the Coastguard heist. Checks at Coast Guard headquarters were also fruitless since most of their hierarchy is away. A guard at the gate would only say that all relevant officers were out of the country or unavailable for comment but sources close to News Five say that the vessel was eventually recovered intact, allegedly on Long Caye. But the thieves were not captured.

Channel 5

#418526 - 10/12/11 01:55 PM Re: Heist of coastguard vessel [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
The following is the report from Channel 7 ......

"There's has been no official confirmation, but very reliable reports to 7news tell us that a vessel was stolen from the Coast Guard this weekend.

According to our reports at 11:30 on Sunday night, a 39 foot Colombian style vessel painted white with blue and red stripes, registration number CG06 with two Yamaha engines and about 200 gallons of fuel was stolen from no less than the Coast Guard headquarters near mile 3 on the Western Highway.

It's a huge embarrassment and the only good news is that the vessel has been recovered. We can't give you details on that recovery because the Coast Guard is pretending that it never happened. They today told us that "no vessel was stolen!" Incredible, but true. When we called and went to the headquarters this morning they told us everyone was in a meeting, but suddenly this afternoon, the commander, Admiral John Borland was no longer in a meeting and there was no vessel that had ever gone missing.

If that's true, then they should be charged for a making a false report to police, because the stolen vessel was dutifully reported to the CIB on Monday. "

#418530 - 10/12/11 02:29 PM Re: Heist of coastguard vessel [Re: Diane Campbell]
ckocian Offline
Who us? Napping on the job? Never!!!

#418532 - 10/12/11 02:41 PM Re: Heist of coastguard vessel [Re: ckocian]
Ernie B Offline
Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.

#418607 - 10/13/11 09:26 AM Re: Heist of coastguard vessel [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Coast Guard 'Fesses Up'

Yesterday, the Belize National Coast Guard took the retrograde position of "deny, deny, deny" when we inquired about a stolen vessel. That only brought double shame upon them: first, for having a vessel stolen from right beneath their noses, and, second, to be caught plainly lying when the press inquired about the theft.

So today, the Acting Coast Guard Commander called to fill us in with details. First, a word about that post: John Borland is no longer commander - he hasn't been for three months - the new commander is Elton Bennett.

He is on leave, but called us today and freely provided all the facts about the theft of the vessel.

He confirmed that the confiscated Colombian 39 foot vessel - which they use for quick response - was tied to the pier. At 11:30 on Sunday night a crew of thieves swam to the vessel, loosed it from the pier and dragged it out to sea. He says a guardsman fired 12 rounds from his M-16 rifle but to no avail. A getaway vessel pulled up, tied up the Coast Guard's boat and towed it away, heading south.

Bennett says they saturated the area with Coast Guard vessels and launched a massive search - including chartering an airplane. On Tuesday morning the vessel was found on Southern long caye,12 miles northeast of Dangriga and 30 miles southeast of Belize city.

It was within the cay - inside a lagoon, hidden in some mangroves. The engines were intact and nothing had been stolen.

He says two persons are detained and they are still seeking the mastermind behind the theft.

Channel 7

#418873 - 10/15/11 08:56 AM Re: Heist of coastguard vessel [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Swimming thieves steal 39-foot Coast Guard vessel!

The new Commander of the Belize Coast Guard, Elton Bennett, confirmed that their 39-foot Columbian vessel had been stolen. Bennett told us that the mastermind behind the heist is believed to have a military background.

According to the information received, around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 9, 2011, a group of thieves swam toward the Belize Coast Guard’s headquarters in Ladyville, unhooked the vessel and pulled it out further into the sea.

At this time a team of guards spotted the movements and started firing at the thieves, but it was too late. One of the thieves climbed on board the vessel and started the engine; another vessel, a getaway skiff, appeared, and the two boats escaped.

The thieves headed in a southerly direction and were not seen again. The Coast Guard enlisted the aid of a civilian aircraft to aid their search party.

The vessel was discovered hidden in some mangroves, fully intact, in the Southern Cayes area (located near Dangriga) on Tuesday, October 11, at approximately 12:00 noon.

Bennett explained that this was the first bold theft occurring at their base in Ladyville, and reaffirmed that additional security measures are now being taken by their department to deter any such reoccurrence.

Bennet said that the police have detained two persons for questioning and that the prime suspect has not been caught as yet.



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