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Jan 7, 2011

Arson and theft at boatyard

Late this afternoon, both the Fire and Police Departments headed to West Landivar where a boat was on fire.  The signs all point to arson and according to boat owners, other vessels moored in the area have been targeted. But why and by whom? There is some speculation, yet no one has been held responsible.  Today’s events brought out the frustration of the mariners. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports on the numerous acts of vandalism affecting the Moho Caye Dock.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

A boat caught on fire at the Moho Caye dock in West Landivar. The Fire Service responded quickly and so did the police. The cause of the fire was quickly established to be arson.  The owner of the boat did not wish to speak on camera, but his friend Lindsey Garbutt said the boat had been stripped before and nothing on board could have caused the fire.

lindsey garbutt

Lindsey Garbutt, Boat Damaged During Arson and Theft

“I know it was set on fire. No battery was in that boat. The owner is a humble person, who works with me for many years—he struggle. He just borrow a loan from D.F.C. to get his boat together. I helped him with everything I could on that boat, including starter. And he just borrowed fifteen thousand dollars to get his boat together. His boat I would value at least seventy-five grand.”

Mike Searle’s boat was attached to this lock which was cut. It was stolen from the dock during the vandalism of the other boats.  He was too upset to comment on camera but he also said three months ago his Toyota SUV was broken into and the electronics were ripped out. Soon after that incident one of his boats were stolen.  The theft of Boston Whaler today has made it difficult for him to return to his home on Moho Caye. According to Lindsey Garbutt, his boat was also damaged today, but the thefts are going unchecked.

Lindsey Garbutt

“I dock my tug and barge. The guys whose boat burned worked with me for years. He bought this boat and tried to get it going. Like I said, he spoke to me eleven o’clock. He said bwai weh u deh. He said ih deh pan ih boat. And I ask ah how yoh get in cause I notice wah new lock is on the gate. And he seh well I jumped the gate because I di come check mi boat. But behind here, my last two boats, they cut out all the wires from Mike’s Toyota truck. Mr. Brown lose eh eight inch pump. So somebody di buy these things. I mean we di live like hell behind ya. We move from port because of the high cast but we aren’t prospering here. Every time you get wah job, you have to go buy everything all over. You have to get mechanic, electrical man.”

Jose Sanchez

“You think you need more police surveillance, patrol?”

Lindsey Garbutt

“We definitely need police surveillance behind this area. It will make you take the law in your hands.”

Jose Sanchez

“What’s the estimate of your losses so far with all these incidents?”

Lindsey Garbutt

“Since I get dah back yah, I lose bout six to seven thousand dollars with battery, starter, three pumps. All mi tools, spot lights. The guys even break the lights off the boats. Just break them off and take them. But I believe they sell the wires, the copper wires and things like that. The whole thing is a stressful situation. I no mek nothing discourage me but it is something we need the law enforcement people behind here.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

According to the boat owners, security is urgently needed in the neighbourhood.

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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6 Responses for “Arson and theft at boatyard”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    It will be cheaper to add motion sensors , security lights, cameras & hire a couple security guards & maybe consider leaving guard dogs on your boats. The police cannot be there 24 hours a day, so the owners will have to come together or work with the dock owner to get some kind of security.

    Until enough people in Belize develop a conscience, thieves will always have a pawnshop, crooked mechanic or business owner who will purchase stolen goods with no questions asked, if they are not already sending the thieves out with their wish list.

  2. Robert says:

    I think citizens need to posse up into groups and patrol their own neighbourhoods instead of depending on the police. Good citizens working together can stop a lot of crimes.

    In some countries there’s a group called GUARDIAN ANGELS that does exactly that. They’ve cleaned up a lot of bad places.

  3. bossman says:

    You know ,you look at the news in the US and almost everything is on camera now, maybe the GOB could invest in buying at least 1 camera a month and set them at strategic places and monitor them . In this way we could start catching these free loaders one by one. And when they are caught give them hard time and appropriate sentencing because with their “mugshot” on camera they cannot deny anything. At least it is a start. Cameras guys cameras I tell you.

  4. Josie says:

    C’omn people this man is trying to make an honest living!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Belama Resident says:

    I agree with Josie, this man is trying to make a living, we all pay taxes, property tax, trade license,sales tax. so I Don’t agree with the idea of citizens needing to hire guards for their homes and businesses and invest in motion sensors and expensive security equipment. where is the police. how many police booths have been closed down, Belama Police Booth is the latest one to be abandoned, closed for the last 2 months. crime is rampant in these areas, Buttonwood Bay, Belama, University Heights, students are robbed constantly, Chinese grocers are easy targets, hell one store was robbed 3 TIMES on the same Day. There is not a huge number of gang related murders as South Side Belize City, but there is crime nontheless and we need police patrols, as I said we pay taxes as well and we demand to live in a safer environment!!!!!!!!

  6. BZNinCALI says:

    @Belama Resident, Cameras are deterrent, even fake ones, the police cannot be everywhere. This man just borrowed $15,000.00 to fix his boat. It may be unfair to ask him & the rest of the men docked there to pay for security but they are paying more now in repair costs & stress than what it would cost to hire a rent a cop. I understand your frustration, I know a child whose bike was replaced 3 times because he was jacked on his way to S.J.C. Neighborhood Watch is a cheaper alternative to security guards & cameras & for some thieves, knowing they are being watched is incentive to take their business elsewhere but the community has to step up & do what the police are unable to do. Protect Itself..

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