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Dec 31, 2001

Cheer’s, Shibel hit by robbers

If you drive between Belize City and points west at any hour close to mealtime, the restaurant called Cheers is an attraction that’s hard to pass up. Unfortunately, this weekend Cheers also proved irresistible to a pair or armed robbers. Shortly after nine on Friday night after the last customer had left, two gunmen held the staff at gunpoint and took the cash in the register. They then demanded admission to the gift shop, in the belief that more cash lay inside, but it was locked. When the employees said they did not have the key, the pair tried to shoot out the lock. The resulting noise woke manager Christine Tupper from her bed in her trailer home nearby, and she loosed a warning shot from her licensed handgun. At this point, the robbers grabbed some liquor from the bar and beat a hasty retreat. Despite the establishment’s isolated location, they left on foot and no vehicle was seen or heard nearby. Police responded quickly and mounted a thorough search of the area, but without success. It was the first time in ten years that Cheers management has had any trouble with crime.

Cheers was not the only popular highway stop robbed over the weekend. According to police reports, on Saturday night the Shibel Esso Station at mile seven on the Stann Creek Valley Road was hit by a gang of thieves. Approximately eight masked men attacked the watchman, Catherino Moriera, knocking him unconscious. They took his shotgun and broke into the establishment, taking an undetermined quantity of goods. The sixty-seven year old Moriera was hospitalised with a cut wound over his eye. No arrests have yet been made.

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