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Mar 29, 2005

Two charged in separate arson incidents

Two cases of suspected arson over the weekend have destroyed thousands of dollars worth of property in Belize City and Orange Walk. According to police, the first incident happened shortly after two on Holy Saturday morning. Twenty-seven-year-old Shirley Lambey told police that she and her common law husband Travis Olivera were at the couple’s Jane Usher Boulevard home when an argument started. What was the bone of contention is not known, but sometime during the dispute Olivera is reported to have left the house. He soon returned, this time armed with what police say was a gallon of kerosene, with which he doused the twelve by fifteen foot structure and set it ablaze. The wooden building, valued at five thousand dollars, was completely destroyed. Police have arrested and charged the twenty-five-year-old Olivera for the crime of arson.

Later on Holy Saturday, this time in Orange Walk, three small buildings went up in flames. Quick police investigation found that the fires were no accident, but appear to be the result of a love triangle gone seriously wrong. Around two fifty-five on Saturday morning police say they responded to reports of a fire in the Otro Benque area of the Town and upon arrival found the cabanas, belonging to Marisol Balam, engulfed in flames. Police say forty-year-old Jose Luis Vasquez, Balam’s common law husband, got into an argument with one of the tenants of the apartments, thirty-nine-year-old Pedro Gonzalez, on Monday afternoon. What were they fighting about? Well it seems that while Vasquez and Balam are a couple, Gonzalez also had a love interest in Balam and that jealous rage apparently sparked the argument. Vasquez is reported to have chopped Gonzalez on his left thumb with a machete. Police reports say after the altercation, Gonzalez was later seen dousing the cabanas with thinner from a red and white metal container, after which he set the structures on fire. It did not take very long for the palmetto buildings to burn to the ground. Valued at a total of three thousand and fifty dollars, none of the cabanas were insured and Balam was unable to save anything from the fire. Gonzalez, a Nicaraguan, has been arrested and charged for the crime of arson. He appeared in Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court this afternoon and was remanded to Hattieville prison.

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