Tonight, concerns for public safety continue to mount because for the 4th. time in 11 years, dangerous military munitions have been stolen from a location under the protection and control of the Belize Defense Force. This time around 2,680 rounds of ammunition used in military assault rifles were stolen, and it is believed that this entire weapons cache may be on the streets tonight.

And it gets worse: the BDF high command suspects that it was an inside job, that still unknown officers sworn to protect civilian safety did the opposition: they breached the military compound in Lords Bank and stole the ammunition to sell to criminals.

The BDF officials made the discovery this morning, and shortly after, the Chief of Staff briefed us about what they know so far:

Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd, Chief of Staff - BDF
"Earlier today about 1:30 in the morning, one of our security patrols discovered the breach of one of our holding cell for some ammunition. We conducted a check and we discovered that a total of 1,680 - 5.56 and 1,000 - 7.62 ammunition was removed from that holding bay."

Daniel Ortiz
"Talk to us about the origin of these ammunition and what you all suspect may have happen at this time, given the limited time you had to investigate it?"

Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd, Chief of Staff - BDF
"These ammunition, we have them as storage for our American counterparts who are here doing some training. So, the type of shelter or bay that they were in is not that type that we normally keep that type of ammunition in. We don't have enough information at this point to determine more or less when it occurred. The last time we did a check and one hundred percent accountability was the 7th December. But we have a series of systems and policies in place to prevent these type of incident and in this case each one of those systems and policies were breached systematically. We believe up to about 90% that it is an inside job and as I mentioned before, we believe that there are several people involved either by their act or their omission. In terms of the security procedures we have in place there, we have armed guards that conduct patrols on a routine basis at a minimum of 30 minutes interval."

Mike Rudon, Ch5
"This type of ammunition, what weapons would it be use for?"

Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd, Chief of Staff - BDF
"For M-16 and M-4 basically, and for the 7.62 - SLR, the self-loading rifle."

Daniel Ortiz
"Do you believe that this ammunition may have now ended up on the streets?"

Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd, Chief of Staff - BDF
"Most definitely, that's our major suspicion, yes."

Daniel Ortiz
"Do you believe that it may end up in the hands of underworld figures, who may use it in some form or fashion at a later date?"

Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd, Chief of Staff - BDF
"Most certainly, and that is one of the incentives that people in the inside have to breach our security systems, so that they could sell these ammunition to the underworld."

Daniel Ortiz
"What kind of value would you be able to estimate persons who would sell this for on the street might make?"

Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd, Chief of Staff - BDF
"My best guess would be about US$10,000."

Daniel Ortiz
"Knowing that this has happen, persons in the public will want to know who will be held responsible for this at the BDF. Are you able to tell us at this time?"

Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd, Chief of Staff - BDF
"Most definitely. As I mentioned before we have systems and procedures in place and those procedures were breached, so we'll go back and do a check of our systems and each person that through their negligence facilitated this breach will be dealt with to the full extent of the law."

Daniel Ortiz
"What level or rank do you believe that it has gone as high as to allow for this access and theft of these ammunition?"

Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd, Chief of Staff - BDF
"Up to the rank of captain, we have checks of these ammunition. Our survival as an organization itself depends on the trust and confidence that we get from the Belizean people we serve and when things like this happen, it definitely erodes the trust and confidence and so that is one thing that we definitely have to build back and work back to gain the trust and confidence of the Belizean people that this type of incident will not occur again."

Viewers may remember that 42 guns went missing from the Price Barracks compound in October 2011. Most of those weapons were useless, but seven working M4 Carbines and eleven working 9mm pistols were among those guns. Those were never recovered.

And in 2008, 2 BDF soldiers were charged for the theft of one thousand three hundred and forty rounds of 5.56 ammunition which was found inside the vehicle. Those were also the type of rounds used in assault rifles such as M-16's and AR-15's. They ended up beating the charges.

And in May 2004, twenty-four of the L109A1 batch of British grenades were stolen from BATSUB.

Channel 7