Three armed robberies in 1 week

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 20, No. 11            March 18, 2010

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Ange-liqui’s Deli was the first business held up.

Buddy was shot Friday night when he alerted patrons at BC’s of the incoming robbers.

Marie Reichmuth fought the assailants off as she rendered assistance to her pet.

Francisco Mendez was robbed while he headed home after working at Big Daddy’s night club.

    Three brazen armed robberies have left the island in shock as news traveled through the small community. All three incidents involved the use of a gun and/or a knife to intimidate the owners and patrons of two separate businesses.

    The first incident took place on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 on Laguna Drive across from the San Pedro High School. The take out Chinese restaurant has been in operation for the past two months. Jaing Heng Huang, 30-year-old proprietor, reported to officials that the incident unfolded at approximately 8:45 p.m. He explained that while at his place of business, Ange-Liqui Deli, he, along with his employee, Hai Bo Liu, were cooking in the kitchen; a male person of dark skinned complexion entered his business with what, to him, appeared to be a silver colored hand gun. Seconds after, a second male, of the same complexion entered. This one branded a knife. The individual with the gun proceeded to step into the kitchen area, grabbing Liu from the shirt and hitting him on the face. The second one remained behind the counter and demanded the money. Both culprits made good their escape with $500 cash in various denominations, a cell phone valued at $500, $300 of credit on the phone and $400 in phone cards. All in all, Ange-Liqui Deli lost a total of $1,700.

    The second incident took place in the idyllic beach bar of BC’s on Friday night, when at approximately 11:30 p.m. three culprits barged into the bar and proceeded to rob them of $126. Carlo Segura, bartender, stated that during the earlier afternoon hours a dark skinned man patronized the bar. He however, only needed to borrow a lighter and the impression that Segura got gave him an uneasy feeling.

    Before BC’s got hit, Segura had removed part of the bar’s profits elsewhere for depositing. At the time, there were patrons frequenting the bar. One of the patrons was Marie Reichmuth along with her dog, Buddy. Marie, who lives next door to the bar, had not frequented the spot for the past few months. Segura explained that as he left his post inside the bar to clean the counter space, Buddy jumped suddenly and began barking. That was when he lunged for Buddy’s collar in an effort to calm him down. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a man wearing a bandana over his face appeared from the parking lot side of the bar. A second man, not wearing a mask and holding a knife, grabbed Carlo by the shirt and proceeded to push him into the bar. At the same moment, Buddy would not stop barking and that is when one of the other two culprits, who had a gun, shot the dog. His owner, Marie, immediately jumped from her stool and tried to render assistance to her loving pet. The men saw that Marie was wearing a fanny pack around her waist and demanded it from her. She said, “no” and that is when the robber fought with her for possession of the bag. Segura was now held inside the bar and the culprit was holding the knife to his neck. He, as well, demanded money and Segura gave him what was in the cash register. The robber saw the tip jar full of cash and took off with that, as well. The other two individuals did not prove to be as successful as their partner as they did not manage to remove the pack from Marie who, after a struggle with the assailants, was now tending to Buddy.

    Marie explained that, “one of the robbers told the others, ‘let’s get out’.” In a matter of minutes, BC’s had been robbed of $126 in cash, $29.50 in credit card slips, along with Segura’s wallet containing personal documents, $5 and credit cards along with his cell phone. The three men disappeared riding bicycles. However, after canvassing the area, Segura found one abandoned bicycle with a knife lying on the ground next to it.

    According to the San Pedro Police Department, their investigations into the above incidents continue and although no one has been formally arrested and charged, there are suspects that they are following up on. Sergeant Ernel Dominguez, the second in command and the Police Department, reminds business owners and employees to keep a firm eye on all patrons, especially those not known to them. “In the event of an incident, they would be prime witnesses in the case.”

    The third incident took place early Wednesday morning when well known dancer and friend Francisco Mendez, a bartender at Big Daddy’s and a dancer for the San Pedro Dance Company was held up and stabbed.

    Mendez was walking home on Angel Coral Street on Wednesday, March 17th at 3:00 a.m. As he made his way to his residence, a dark skinned man riding a bicycle approached him and demanded money. Mendez, being the last bartender to leave Big Daddy’s, had with him the club’s night sales. He refused to give over the sales and the culprit proceeded to stab him on his body.

    Mendez arrived at Ambergris Hopes Clinic at 3:30 a.m. with the assistance of family members who had arrived at the scene to help. Dr. Daniel Gonzalez, medical practitioner, tended to Mendez’s four stab wounds; one to the interior side of his throat, one to the sternum area, one to his left arm, and one to his back. Mendez was released from the clinic at 5:30 a.m. An official police report states that Mendez was heading home near the corner of Angel Coral and Ambergris Street when an individual riding in a bicycle pulled up asking for money. Mendez at the time had three separate money bags. After a struggle ensued, the culprit made off with one of the bags containing $437. Mendez was transported to the clinic where he received urgent medical attention. According to second in command officer Ernell Dominguez, nobody has been detained and officers are following up on all leads. If anyone witnessed the incident, the San Pedro Police Department reminds you that all information is confidential and may be directed to telephone number 226-2022.
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