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May 27, 1998

Coke truck robbed, Mayflower Street residents complain of police brutality

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In crime news there was excitement aplenty on Belize City’s south side this afternoon. News Five’s Patrick Jones was on the scene and files the following report.

The mid afternoon robbery of the Coca-Cola delivery truck took place in front of Ke’s Saloon on Mahogany Street. Victim of the daring hold-up, Fred Michael and sideman John Conorque, were caught totally off guard.

Fred Michael, Salesman, Bowen & Bowen

“As I was collecting the money from one of my customers, suddenly from behind as I was collecting the money a fellow just came up with a gun at my headside and told me to hand over the money. Seeing the gun at my headside I didn’t want to give over the money first but then he burst a shot at my ears and so I just tell him to have it. As I was just collecting the money from the Chiney he also took that and let off another shot and then he disappeared.”

Patrick Jones

“Witnesses say the incident happened around two thirty this afternoon. According to Michael he was about to return to the delivery truck when he was approached from behind.”

Michael says he jumped into his truck and set chase after the robber who was on a bicycle, but was hindered in his attempt to catch up to him due to traffic.

Fred Michael

“I proceed to make chase and told my sideman let’s get in the truck to make chase and as we were coming out we saw what he was riding so we chased behind him and he crossed over the Central American Boulevard. In which we saw a police van and I stopped it and I made a report to the police and immediately the police dey respond. And you know as you can see they respond by coming out real fast but unfortunately we haven’t caught up with the thief as yet.”

While he may not have gotten a good look at his attacker, who was wearing a stocking over his face, the information that Michael gave to police led investigators straight to Mayflower Street.

A.I.P. Simeon Alvarez, Head, C.I.B.

“From the information received immediately after the robbery the culprit rode off on a bicycle heading to the Mayflower Street area. As a result of that the police went to that area.”

And the neighborhood did not exactly roll out the red carpet for the invading troop of armed policemen.

Gloria Zuniga, Mayflower Street Resident

“Di person weh get robbed no seh through ya; dey no have bad bwais. But da no everybody weh do bad da fah Mayflower Street. As everything, Mayflower Street, Mayflower Street. Dat no mean dey live ya. Da no because da dey run through ya or dey go through ya or dey end through ya, dem da fi fa. Latta dem do dey crime and dey crime and dey da no fi ya.”

Cynthia Richard, Mayflower Street Resident

“But dem say birds of all flock but dey no flock togetha. If pipple di sell drugs or di do whatever dey want we cyan stop dem because ya belongs to we. We cyan move dem because da no we put dem deh.”

Although the investigation is still in its infancy, Alvarez says there is enough information to indicate that the robber was stalking the delivery truck for quite some time.

A.I.P. Simeon Alvarez

“The investigation is telling us that apparently this person was following the Coca-Cola truck in the area and he as waiting for the opportunity where he could have easily get an escape route to commit this crime.”

Q: “Do you have any idea how much he made away with?”

Fred Michael

“I guess somewhere between four, seventy five to five hundred dollars.”

Q: “Did you just come out from the office?”

Fred Michael

“Yes, but lucky for me I had just made my morning deposit and it was just this afternoon drinks that I was selling and the money that I had already sold some of the drinks for that he has taken.”

As the investigation continues, police have taken this young man, nineteen year old David Elijio into custody. Elijio was wounded during his apprehension, neighbors say by a police bullet.

Joan Elijio, David’s Mother

“When wah young lady gawn hail me da my house ih tell me how di police dem di beat up my son. Before dat two C.I.B. mi gawn da my house and seh me di hide my son in deh and I tell dem I no di hide my pickni in deh because I no encourage crime. And later on the police gawn downstairs of my house, open di house because one of my house deh paw rent, seh me ga my son up deh di hide. Me no gat my son up deh di hide. The young lady come and ih tell me dat dey di beat up my son da back deh, di police dem and the police shot ah ina ih toe.”

Elijio is not suspected of being the actual robber but the cops believe that he could lead them to the culprit. Patrick Jones, for News Five.

According to proprietor of Ke’s Saloon a similar holdup took place in the neighborhood yesterday and it is believed the same robber may be responsible for both crimes.

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