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Feb 12, 2019

Police Recover Cache of Stolen Firearms and Ammo

There are a lot more guns in the streets of the Old Capital tonight, following a major burglary, described as a breach of national security, at a local firearms dealer. At around three o’clock this morning, the warehouse of Victor L. Bryant and Company on Chetumal Street, Belize City, was broken into and burglarized. The onsite security did not hear or see any movements in the area, as thieves managed to escape with a cache of firearms and ammunition, including four thousand rounds of nine-millimeter ammunition and eight point twenty-two rifles. Quick police response and strategic surveillance led to the recovery of several of the weapons and ammo, but police have yet to establish the exact number of weapons that were stolen. Today, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams and Commander of Operations, Senior Superintendent Marco Vidal provided details of the incident. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“What happened there is a breach of national security. Imagine having this amount of firearms and ammunition in the streets of Belize City or anywhere in the country.”

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

A burglary in the wee hours of this morning at the warehouse of Victor L. Bryant and Company- a supplier of firearms, netted thieves a sizeable cache of firearms and ammunition. This morning, investigators visited the store on Chetumal Street, Belize City as investigations continue. Commander of Operations, Sr. Supt. Marco Vidal provided details.

 

Marco Vidal

Sr. Supt. Marco Vidal, Commander of Operations

“Just after three-thirty one of our officers was conducting post checks in different areas of Belize City, Southside, when they came across an individual whose vehicle was searched. The same individual’s vehicle was again searched by the Chetumal Bridge. Around that time they were alert to some persons by Victor L. Bryant Store. The officers then moved to the area where they discovered that they place had been burglarized. The owner was subsequent called, who arrived and indeed confirmed that the place had been burglarized and that some firearms had been stolen from the stock at the place.”

 

Quick police response led to the recovery of several of the firearms and ammo which had been stashed in different areas of southside Belize City and Belama, including abandoned and bushy lots.

 

Sr. Supt. Marco Vidal

“So far the police has recovered two point twenty-two revolvers, three point twenty-eight revolvers as well, five twelve gauge pump action shotguns and eight point twenty-two rifles. Also in different areas police discovered four thousand nine-millimeter rounds, one-hundred and fifty point thirty-eight rounds and seventy-hundred and fifty twelve gauge cartridges. The investigation is still ongoing and other areas are being searched at this time. A total of nine persons are currently detained. One of these persons his house was searched where also drugs was found, I think over four kilograms of marijuana. So he will also be charged for that offense.”

 

Persons detained are known to police and suspected to be local gang members. Investigators are yet to establish whether the firearms and ammunition recovered are all that were stolen. In order to do so, the company will need to provide investigators with an inventory of the stock that is stored at the zinc warehouse.

 

Chester Williams

“I have directed Senior Superintendent Ramirez who is the officer in charge of the Dangerous Goods Unit here in Belmopan, whose task it is to ensure that gun dealers are inspected in a regular basis to go down in Belize City, he is currently in Belize. He is doing an inventory of Victor L. Bryant as well as to do an in-depth inspection of the premises to see whether or not the premises is conducive to a place that should, where firearms supposed to be kept especially firearms in large quantity.”

 

Investigators are reviewing surveillance footage of the burglary and footage from within the warehouse to establish whether two persons who are in police detention had visited the premises inquiring about the prices of firearms.

 

Sr. Supt. Marco Vidal

“There is information during the investigation as I said that two individuals were seen prior to the actual burglary.  I think one or two days prior, had visited the establishment and inquired about weapons. The surveillance footage is still being reviewed and as I said the investigation is still ongoing so that once that is established as to who those persons add, then certainly it will add to the current investigation.”

 

Reporter

“Did any alarm go off? Did they have any security onsite?”

 

Sr. Supt. Marco Vidal

“They have a security. The security lives on site but from the position where he resides and from where the culprits entered, he would have seen or heard the burglary.”

 

According to investigators, the owner of the company reported to police a week ago that there was a separate burglary at the warehouse but that no items were stolen. Hipolito Novelo, News Five.


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