2 bandits escape with $208,000

Corozal Police are investigating a broad daylight robbery which occurred in the Commercial Free Zone on Monday morning. It happened in the parking lot of the Fabrica de Mayoreo, and when it was over, two men had escaped with just over two hundred thousand dollars, or one point two five million pesos. The money was to have been used to purchase bulk goods from the store, but before the Mexican buyer could make the connection, his cash was jacked. The robbery ranks among the most serious in the zone; at least as far as the dollar amount is concerned. Today, Mike Rudon headed north, where the police have made significant progress in what seemed to be a well coordinated and executed robbery.

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Today, it was business as usual in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, and at this large store located on its main street. The Fabrica de Mayoreo is locally known as the North-American store, and on Monday morning in broad daylight, a man was robbed of over one million pesos in the parking lot located behind the store. Ricardo Villaseñor is a Mexican buyer, and came into the zone to purchase items in bulk for sale in Mexico. He was forced to return home without the money, and without the goods.

Andrew Ramirez, O.C., Corozal Police Formation

Andrew Ramirez

“We visited North-American store in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone where we spoke to one Mexican national, Ricardo Villaseñor, and he reported that between nine and ten he had visited the zone to do business as usual, and upon going to his car which was about fifteen metres behind the building, he was accosted by two, according to him, Creole descent male individuals whereby one of them placed a knife to the right side of his back and stated in Spanish – give me the money or I will kill you – dame el dinero si no te mato. He further states that the Spanish language that was used is consistent with that of Belizean Hispanic, and not of the Mexicans. Feeling in fear of his life, he then handed over two plastic bags containing Mexican pesos…in the amount of one point two five million pesos, or one million, two hundred and fifty thousand pesos.”

After handing over the equivalent of two hundred thousand dollars in pesos, Villaseñor was pushed inside the trunk of his car. Apparently not satisfied with over two hundred thousand in hand, the two men searched him and took his phone and another eight hundred pesos. Sources inside the zone tell us that the assailants were not armed with guns. Instead one had a knife and the other a hammer.

Andrew Ramirez

“Sometimes these criminals are operating a bit wiser – because obviously a gunshot in the zone would definitely create a scenario where these men could be caught, but they had moved so smoothly without creating any hysteria…as a matter of fact the guy was put inside his trunk, which would give them sufficient time to move on. By the time the victim would come out and call for help, they would have been away for some time.”

Police are exploring the angle of surveillance cameras which may have recorded footage of the perpetrators. But while they are doing what they can, Ramirez notes that there was a significant time lapse between the commission of the crime and the Police being called in.

Andrew Ramirez

“Especially foreigners who are affected, would normally want to communicate with their bosses first before they lodge a complaint. So the time period of them being affected by the crime and the Police being informed of the crime is a time span, over an hour and a half, so imagine how far one can get in that space of time if the Police are not given the information on time.”

But even with that obstacle, Corozal Police already have one person in custody. The investigation is still in its very preliminary stages, but they believe that he is one of the persons responsible for the million pesos heist. Mike Rudon for News Five.

The Fabrica de Mayoreo, or North American International Limited Store, has been in related news before. In September 2011, two Corozal cops were charged after a brazen armed jacking there which netted them seventy-thousand dollars. The two hundred and eight thousand dollars stolen in this heist comes in a close second to a burglary at the A and R store in the zone in April 2010. In that incident, an unknown person or person made off with a quarter million dollars in cash. 

Channel 5