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Jul 31, 2015

Robbers Hit FCIB; Undisclosed Amount of Cash

A group of armed bandits slipped pass a police officer on duty and bank security to pull off a daring heist at a bank in Belize City this morning. The First Caribbean Bank at San Cas Plaza has been hit at least twice before, but the heist this morning was committed with relative ease by the robbers. Three robbers entered FCIB at around nine o’clock when at least ten customers were lining up with end of month transactions. The group ordered the clients to the ground, headed to the cashiers, took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene in a waiting van with three other suspects. One person was slightly injured but the rest of the staff and customers were left traumatized.  Because the robbers wore no mask, police have been able to detain two suspects and at this time an identification parade is being held. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Lloyd Neal, Eyewitness

“I didn’t see when anybody enter looking suspicious because we were chatting, watching the TV about the plane that they found the wing, the Three-Seventy plane down in Asia side there.  Okay, while I am chatting, having fun, I heard, “Get on the ground and nobody will get hurt!”  It made me begin to wonder, “Are they filming a movie?”

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A daring heist, believed to have been orchestrated by a group of men, three of them well-known to local law enforcement, was pulled off this morning as customers transacted business inside First Caribbean Bank.  Less than a hop and a skip away an on duty officer at a nearby police booth carried on with his shift, none the wiser to what was taking place on his watch.  While a getaway vehicle idled on the premises, its occupants alighted from the green van moments earlier, entered the bank at San Cas Plaza and then went to work relieving tellers of an undisclosed sum.

 

Linden Flowers

Supt. Linden Flowers, O.C., Precinct 4

“A call came in around 8:40 this morning through a police source from within this area, as well as our national control room that a robbery was in progress or a robbery had taken place at the First Caribbean Bank. The information is that there is six persons, that includes one or two persons that were inside of the green van that has not yet been located, as well as three persons who entered the bank, one of whom is a known person to the police, to the law enforcement community.  [He] has been identified as escorting the security guard for the bank inside of the bank and then the other persons who had already been in the bank ordered the persons inside the bank, being the bank workers, as well the customers in the bank to hit the floor.”

 

Inside the bank, men and women, including the security officer who was reportedly held up at the entrance, prostrated themselves.  Lloyd Neal, an elderly customer, resumes his account of the incident.

 

Lloyd Neal

Lloyd Neal

“Anyway I got down because this old man don’t want to die too quick although ih done old.  Then I saw the fellow with the gun and then people jumped over the counter, young fellows.  We weren’t too scared because no gun was fired and no big threat was made but it was done in a very quick time.  About four persons jumped over the counter, came out back with bags and so on.  But the truth is, we were not very frightened because no gun was fired.”

 

While the robbers did not resort to deadly use of force during the commission of the crime, reckless abandon placed the undisguised trio on closed circuit television.

 

Lloyd Neal

“Something of particular interest to me, nobody, none of the culprits tried to hide their face in anyway.  It made me wonder, “Are they sure of something?”  Nobody put on a little funny thing to hide their identity.  Very funny and very suspicious.”

 

Investigators have carefully reviewed the footage and thus far several arrests have been made.

 

Isani Cayetano

“From what we have been made to understand, in this brazen attempt to rob First Caribbean Bank the culprits were not wearing any masks so their identities may have been captured on camera.  Are you guys extensively reviewing footage that led up to the robbery and during that particular time?”

 

Linden Flowers

“Yes, that is our mode of operation.  Even in smaller incidents and this one is a very critical incident so I’m taking it [very seriously.]  This is a level of incident that is second to none.  This needs to be properly dealt with and all the footage in the area will be reviewed.  I’m seeking the cooperation of business owners and private citizens in the community who have seen something or have a camera that will be able to help us.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

 

On March first, 2012, First Caribbean’s branch at the San Cas Plaza was also robbed by a group of four armed thieves.  That daring ordeal resulted in a barrage of shots being fired and ended with the shooting death of Alberto Benito Assi by responding officers.

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3 Responses for “Robbers Hit FCIB; Undisclosed Amount of Cash”

  1. Ray says:

    doesn’t seem right. How can they rob a bank so quick??? its like all that money was just waiting to be picked up considering its early in the morning and the business shouldn’t be that hectic. Are they really that good to probably be first time bank robbers?? Think about it.

  2. Timber says:

    I got the news as soon as it happened. We, in the US, and people on the street in Belize usually learn of stuff before the police even know. On the numerous occasions I visit Belize per year, I watch how the police officers act and how derelict they are of their duties. They are the first to kick ordinary citizens’ doors down and most of the time act without impunity, but yet, you can see them leaning up at a Chiney store or somewhere else chatting or texting on their phones. They are the first to talk to decent people ignorant, and , in the case of one of my family members try to relieve them of their possessions left over in the house after a robbery which they came to investigate. Yes, I’m calling some of those rogue police officers THIEVES!. On the flip side of this, I feel sorry for them because how can they live on that measly salary of a hundred and something per week, stand out there in the heat without water or a proper place to go relieve themselves and we expect them to perform their duties effectively? Myself, along with another friend of mine, on numerous visits to Belize have stopped and given them bottled water, especially to those at the 4 mile checkpoint on Western Highway (Which I now noticed is gone, for what reason I don’t know) as well as the one at mile 8 on the Northern highway. Also, I’ve even given rides to some of these poor officers who’ve had to come all the way from Orange Walk or Corozal and have to hitchhike home because their salaries aren’t enough to do that and feed their families. They operate on more like four hours sleep by the time they get home. Yet, you ignorant, illiterate SOB’s talking about cementing the streets is a good thing and Petro Caribe money and the UDP are great. It’s not about any one political party because PUP has to get rid of some of their crooks also. The economic and educational situation will only get worst and the rate of crime will increase even more. In the meantime, John Saldivar will continue to hustle this government, Erwin Contrerras (my buddy) will continue to run the West and hustle and Dean will play Judas and dictator with the country and his two aspiring successors, Patrick the drunk and Darrelita , and watch them go at each other’s throats, while he plays the divide and conquer game. Until Belize gets like Jamaica or parts of South Africa before Apartheid was abolished, and some of these politicians and their families get hurt or are answerable to their mess, nothing will change.

  3. Timber says:

    ppp

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