As the summer ends, stationery stores are filled with costumers doing their back to school shopping. Two robbers took advantage of the season’s high sales and robbed A&R Enterprise in Belize City at Mile 1 1/2 on the Philip Goldson Highway late on Wednesday evening. According to police, around 6:27 p.m., as workers were locking up for the night, the security guard was followed into the establishment by a tall dark-skinned man whose face was masked by stocking. He was carrying a firearm, which he had pointed in the left side of the security guard. Police Sergeant Edwina Armstrong, who is in charge of Criminal Investigation Branch for Precinct 4 Police based in Belama, narrates what happened next.
“They went into the store. They had on masks. They were fully dressed. Their arms were covered and their faces, and the top parts of their bodies were hidden.
We suspect that they were two male persons.
They held up the security guard at gunpoint. Cash was stolen from a safe in the building.
[Stolen] was a little over 12 thousand dollars, but we still have to go over everything to see if that’s the exact amount.
Fortunately, no one was injured. we do have a suspect detained, and there are others [we are looking for].. We going to do further investigation, and bring in a few more persons.”
As noted, police have one suspect in custody who they say is cooperating with them, and are looking for other persons of interest. The robbers’ list of stolen items, valued at over $13,500, includes $9,084.66 cash secured in a plastic bag in the supervisor’s office, two cellular phones, a gold ring and stone and a gold bracelet with the name Diedra. These were taken while he had the employees lying on the floor inside the store. The frightened employees were then herded up to the second floor while the robber’s companion, an Hispanic, remained at the front entrance. Taken from the safe was a container containing $1,969.65 in cash and another container with $1,225.00 in cash. The group was then locked up inside the office while the duo escaped.
We visited the establishment on Thursday, but the supervisor declined comment, as she and her employees were still shaken up and trying to recover. As Police continue their investigations, Sgt. Armstrong discusses what businesses can do to protect themselves in light of speculation that the robbers may have been casing the scene in preparation for the heist.
Sergeant Edwina Armstrong
“Of course, we have to consider that, and we do have patrols in the area, but of course we cannot cover everything in the area at the same time. We’re appealing to the public and the business places to be on their guard and alert. If they see anybody suspicious in the area, they are to call 911, or to call our precinct. We have a straight line here that they can call and give us information of any suspicious behaviour.”
Though both robbers carried firearms there were no gunshots fired and none of the workers were hurt. Police declined to say whether there was inside assistance in the commission of the robbery as that is part of their ongoing investigation. Police have recovered the store’s in-house surveillance to assist with the investigation as well.