Attempted robbery at Atlantic Bank foiled

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 45            November 15, 2001

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Police escort robbery suspect Gary Horth to the station

What began as a quiet Tuesday afternoon for the employees of the San Pedro Branch of Atlantic Bank Limited soon turned to chaos and pandemonium, as a "client turned crook" and tried to rob the bank in broad daylight.

    News spread like wildfire through the town and soon hundreds of people were at the scene of the crime trying to get a glimpse of the robber. When the San Pedro Police led the criminal from the bank, the murmurs of those gathered grew even louder, as they found out that the culprit was a Canadian whom many had known as an ordinary, decent individual who had arrived in San Pedro only a few months ago.

    According to the police, at approximately 1:35 p.m. on November 13th, 2001 the manager of the Atlantic Bank came running into the station, informing them that there was a hold up at the bank. The police responded immediately and arrived on the scene to find the bank security guard pointing a gun at the suspect. The assailant's name was discovered to be Gary Daniel Horth, a forty-three year old Canadian, who arrived in Belize by way of the northern border on August 30th, 2001.

    The police informed the San Pedro Sun that, according to bank personnel, the robber asked for the manager and was escorted to his office. He then closed the door and informed the manager that, "this is a hold up." He had a note containing the following instructions: "US Dollars - 100, 30 - 40,000. Belize 100 - ?" The note also stated, "Under no circumstances do you alert the police or your staff. There is a shooter in the bank and one out the bank. We have families too and have no plans of going to jail. Your immediate family will be watch for 2 hours. Do not let anyone know of robbery for 2 hours. Understand - Not a game only business."

    At press time, police were still investigating the matter and the San Pedro Sun was told that Gary Daniel Horth would possibly be charged for attempted robbery and taken to Magistrate's Court in Belize City. If convicted, he could be sentenced to five years imprisonment. The San Pedro Sun also learned that the robber was armed only with a flashlight wrapped in a Handi-wipe (magitel) secured by tape.

    Thanks to the quick action of the bank manager and the San Pedro Police, no money was stolen and no one was hurt during the hold up.
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