Canadian acquitted of attempted robbery charges

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 12, No. 8            February 28, 2002

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Gary Daniel Horth, accused of attempting to rob the San Pedro Branch of the Atlantic Bank in November of last year, was acquitted of these charges last week in Belize City Magistrate's Court. According to reports, following the prosecution's statements, Magistrate Dorothy Flowers dismissed the man's case stating, "the elements to satisfy a charge of attempted robbery have not been proven."

    This verdict surprised many residents of San Pedro Town, who witnessed the robbery attempt on the afternoon of November 13th, 2001. According to Prosecuting Sergeant Lawrence Lopez, "Mr. Horth was released into the custody of his lawyer following his trial." Speaking with Horth's defense attorney, she informed the San Pedro Sun that he was "free to go." Questioned as to whether Mr. Horth was required to undergo any psychological testing, she replied, "No." Inquiring about the reason Mr. Horth gave for being at the Atlantic Bank on the day he was arrested, his defense attorney stated, "he said he didn't remember."

    According to the San Pedro police report, Horth, a 43 year-old Canadian national, had been residing in San Pedro Town for only three months at the time of his arrest. On the Tuesday afternoon in question, Horth walked into the manager's office at Atlantic Bank, closed the door and informed the man, "this is a hold up." He produced a note which contained the instructions, "US Dollars - 100, 30 - 40,000. Belize 100 - ?" the note further 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 the time of his arrest, Horth was found to be "armed" with a flashlight wrapped in a "Handi-wipe" secured by tape. Quick action by bank security personnel and the San Pedro Police Department were instrumental in his capture and no one was harmed during the episode.

    According to sources at the Canadian Embassy, Gary Daniel Horth voluntarily returned to Canada on Saturday, February 23rd.
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