Brazen daylight robbery of Coca Cola distribution factory
A daring robbery took place early this morning, soon after the Bowen and Bowen Distribution Centre opened for business. The armed and masked robbers sat in a waiting car outside and struck shortly after eight o’clock. They had apparently plotted their moves with precision since security had not kicked in yet and they seemed to know where to hit. News Five Isani Cayetano was at the scene of the crime and has this report.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
“The Bowen & Bowen Slaughterhouse Road distribution center was today once again the target of armed robbers; the third attack on this compound since the infamous 2002 robbery/murders.”
From the look of things it is business as usual as customers are being allowed unto the property to redeem empty bottles or make purchases. Shortly before nine this morning cashiers inside the main office came under attack by two masked men wielding handguns. A distraught cashier who wished to remain anonymous recounted the harrowing experience.
Employee, Bowen & Bowen Ltd.
“We were working, had customers, and all of a sudden two men armed with guns had on ski masks on and dressed in full black came and said “this is a robbery unu lay low” and all of a sudden the first thing what happened we had one customer in front of me and one of the men hold up the customer. All of a sudden the other man jumped across the table and came directly to me at gunpoint. I was laying flat on the floor and he just went straight into the drawer, take out our cash, we had a bag with cash and he went also with my purse. He then went to the next cashier, did the same thing to her. She was lying down at gunpoint, went inside her drawer straight into our cash and went with her purse as well then he went to the back, to the two girls sitting at the back. They were lying flat, one of the head supervisors, they went into her drawer and went with several cash in her drawer and we were there frightened, stunned, afraid for our life and all of a sudden they jumped back and went straight outside.”
The entire ordeal lasted only a few seconds with both assailants making good their escape. A vague sense of normalcy was restored shortly after ten o’clock as employees on the beverage supply compound returned to their respective duties. But why did Bowen and Bowen, one of the biggest companies in Belize, not have a security presence at the start of the business day?
Nick Pollard Jr., Sales Manager, Bowen & Bowen Ltd.
nick pollard jr.
“The reason for that is that absolutely no sales monies are kept in this building in the mornings. All transactions are completed before nightfall and I would venture to say that these men were prepared just to do an armed robbery for little or nothing. Because of this, our KBH armed guard comes on at ten o’clock in the morning. That’s one guard and we have changed that immediately. As you are speaking to me right now there are now two armed guards in place and that will continue effectively everyday as of eight a.m. in the morning. So when our sales office opens at eight a.m. we will have two armed guards in place.”
This is the third attack on Bowen and Bowen. On June eighteenth, 2002 the distribution center was assaulted by two of its deliverymen who proceeded to rob several thousand dollars in nightly deposits. Before fleeing the scene two of three security officers lay mortally wounded in an armored truck. A third was also shot in the neck. Two other persons were also murdered following the robbery by Leslie Pipersburgh and Patrick Robateau. Eight years later the duo which had been sentenced to hang for the quadruple murders committed during the incident is being granted an appeal in the next session of the Court of Appeal.
Nick Pollard Jr.
“They were found guilty in the Supreme Court, guilty in the Appeals Court and then the warlords in London set them free and has given them a new trial. This is where we are with justice and our judiciary. So what are we doing? Are we gonna be seeing these guys walking free soon to go out and kill again as we have seen in other cases?”
While police were able to get a conviction of Pipersburgh and Robateau they are today looking for two suspects who took part in the latest robbery of Bowen & Bowen Ltd. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.