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Apr 14, 2005

Chinese shops shutdown nationwide

Story PictureTo protest the killing, Chinese shops shut nationwide. In Belize City, Chinese businesses from Barrack Road to Mahogany Street to Cemetery Road and beyond were closed. A sign posted outside the shops and restaurants from the Belize Chinese Association read in part, “This is to mourn the violent murder of Mrs. Lou Xiao Yue…in Orange Walk town on Sunday April eleventh, 2005…We are also observing this day as a protest against crime in the country of Belize.” As our camera toured the city, we could not help but note how many of the establishments had already been the victim of criminal activity. But on the heels of the shutdown, tonight there are two more reports of Chinese businessmen, one of them the very President of Belize Chinese Association, being hit by thieves.

According to police, around four this morning a mobile patrol circling the community near mile four and half on the Northern Highway spotted a pedestrian acting suspiciously. When the cops stopped him and began searching the bag he was carrying, they found an undisclosed sum of money, a Rolex watch, a camera, and several valuable coins. The man was immediately detained when he couldn’t explain how he had come to be carrying the items. As officers began to investigate the incident, President of the Chinese Association, Benjamin Lo reported to police that in the early morning hours someone had removed an air conditioner unit from one of the walls of his home, entered, and stole a number of his belongings. Lo’s list and those items found on the suspicious pedestrian were identical. As a result, thirty-six year Warren Latchman of a Sarstoon Street address has been arrested and charged with burglary and handling stolen property.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday night a Chinese restaurant was targeted. Around seven-thirty last night, a man invaded the Olympic Restaurant on Cemetery Road with the apparent intent of robbing the owners. However, proprietor Zheng Ming Tan and his employees armed themselves with sticks and other instruments and cornered the would-be thief in an upstairs room. With nowhere to go, the intruder locked himself inside the room. When police arrived, they broke down the door and the vandal made a last ditch attempt to run away by jumping out a window and unto a nearby building. The officers fired three shots at the man, one of which hit the suspect in his left leg. Tonight he has been identified as twenty-four year old Ronald Palacio of Mahogany Street. He remains under police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital but is expected to be charged with trespassing and attempted burglary as soon as he is fit to appear before a Magistrate.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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