Robbery Turns Fatal in SP

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 30            July 28, 2005

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Antonio Almendarez, victim of a
robbery turned deadly

This past Monday night, it seemed that all was well in Belize’s prime tourist destination, San Pedro Town. Its residents slumbered peacefully into the night; content that all was as it should be: calm and peaceful. However, on the dawn of Tuesday morning, everyone awoke to the shocking news of a robbery that had turned deadly.

    Residents on “La Isla Bonita” are still reeling in shock over the news. Antonio Almendarez, 50-year-old security guard, had been brutally murdered at his place of employment. What was more disturbing was the lack of witnesses to this horrible tragedy. Given the location of the crime, right in the center of town at Fido’s Courtyard, it seems almost surreal that no-one was witness to this awful crime.

    At midnight on Monday, Tony Brown, entertainment director for Fido’s, met Almendarez to help him close the establishment. Brown reported that he left Almendarez at Fido’s, not knowing that it was the last time that he was going to see him alive. Brown arrived at Fido’s at approximately 6:45 a.m. only to hear the shocking news that Almendarez had been the victim of a brutal murder.

    According to preliminary investigations, Almendarez was last seen alive by another security guard at approximately 3:30 a.m. Officers believe that the assailants entered Fido’s through the beach entrance between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 a.m. Police officers believe that Almendarez was inside Fido’s when he met with the robbers. He was hit on the right side of the head with a crowbar after which they proceeded to place a cloth inside his mouth and taped it shut. Almendarez’s handcuffs were used to secure his hands behind his back.

    The assailants moved to the second floor of the building where they found the safe. They managed to pry it open with the crowbar, and escaped with a cash tray containing $6,000 in $50 and $100 US bills and close to $3,000 in Belizean currency.

    Almendarez’s body was discovered lying face down on the ground. As of press time, a post-mortem examination was scheduled for Wednesday which would reveal whether Almendarez died of asphyxia or from head trauma.

    According to a spokesperson at the San Pedro Police Department, officers have identified four men in connection with this crime. Two of these four men had recently been released on bail from burglary charges associated with stealing a safe from the San Pedro Town Council.

    The San Pedro Police Department is asking anyone with information to please call 922. Note: The police hotline number 922 is answered in the United States of America, guaranteeing complete anonymity.
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