Four accused arraigned for Income Tax Robbery

Four person were arrested , charged and arraigned in the Belmopan court today in connection to the robbery of the
vlcsnap-2016-07-22-16h48m41s105 vlcsnap-2016-07-22-16h49m01s51Belmopan Income Tax office on Trinity Boulevard vlcsnap-2016-07-22-16h46m38s149last Friday. They are Ichelle Tablada,  David Cruz , Richard Hyde, and  Devon Brooks. It wasn’t a smooth process at court this evening, with police seemingly scrambling to get the charge sheets up to date and in order. It took a while, but eventually, charges were read.

 Police say that one of the culprits is a police officer and the boyfriend of the woman, Ichelle Tablada.Tablada was vlcsnap-2016-07-21-15h34m14s36previously an employee of the Income Tax office in Belmopan but was no longer working there at the time of the robbery. After the three men tied up the employees at gunpoint and robbed the office of some $29,000,  they
escaped in a Toyota Forerunner  which was caught on surveillance camera. Police believe that Tablada was the get away driver at the time of the incident, and reports are that the vehicle is actually the property of one of her family members from whom she borrowed it. Police issued the image of the vehicle to the public, asking for assistance to identify it and the owner.  That is one of the elements that got the ball rolling on the investigation which led to the recovery of not only the vehicle, but most of the monies that were stolen, as well as the gun which was taken from the on duty security guard. Police say some of the monies were already spent, however, they were also able to retrieve goods purchased with the stolen money.

The accused were arraigned on Thursday afternoon in the Belmopan court on charges of robbery, abetment to commit robbery, and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition. We spoke to Leroy Banner, attorney for Ichelle Tablada who was trying to get his client bail as she was charged with abetment to murder. However, she was denied bail.

Leroy Banner, Attorney for Ichelle Tabladavlcsnap-2016-07-22-16h44m02s202

“I was trying to impress on the court that under section sixteen of the Crime Control Act that abetment to commit robbery is a bailable offense and that in this case, my client has three young children and her mother is sick and we think that bail should be given because there is no evidence whatsoever that linked her to the crime. Of course I was surprised because we were in court and to me the court not even considered my submission before I could say that she ruled on my submission. So I am pretty much shocked without even considering what I have to say to the court.”

Bail was denied and we asked Banner on what grounds the prosecution requested that no bail be offered to the mother of three.

Leroy Banner, Attorney for Ichelle Tablada

“The prosecution was saying that they still need to try and recover more money and that robbery is on the rise in Belize, pretty much.”

Though not the attorney for the other three men, Banner told us what happened in court with them as well.

Leroy Banner, Attorney for Ichelle Tablada

“Well bail was denied because they were charged with firearm offenses and under the law, the magistrate cannot give them bail for firearm offenses so there was no argument per say because it’s automatic that you go to Supreme Court for bail.”



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