Police say that a recent escalation in robberies within and outside Belize City is being conducted, for the most part, by the same group of persons. In the police press brief this morning, ASP Alejandro Cowo, Head of the Crimes Investigation Branch in Belize City issued an advisory to business owners.
ASP Alejandro Cowo, Head of the Crimes Investigation Branch: I would like to take this opportunity to encourage and advise the business owners, yes the police has a responsibility to patrol the entire city and the country but it is also their responsibility to make sure that their business is safe, to be alert, to be observant, we have notice a trend that persons have been waking inside of the business at least three or four times before the robberies are being committed and it is the same persons that is going three or four times scouting the area so we are advising the business owners to be a little bit more alert and to be observant as to who are these persons that are coming in and out of the shop. We know that as a matter of fact that because of the pressure here in Belize City that the police are pushing these persons are looking out districts where they are really not known to the different business and to even the police officers patrolling the grounds their and this is the advantage they are taking so we will advise the business owner to please be alert and any suspicious movement to report it or even tell another connect inside of the business to be alert on these persons that are in and out of the business establishments.
According to ASP Cowo, these groups have targeted business across the country. Following a recent hit at a Money Gram agent in Ladyville on Monday of this week, police were able to arrest and charge one Geovanni Augustin for the crime. Police believe he is part of these larger groups which they suspect are linked to other robberies that have taken place.
ASP Alejandro Cowo, Head of the Crimes Investigation Branch: There have been other robberies that we suspect link, we have one at the Creole Wagons and they are two more in the new road area. We are encouraging the different business establishments to come up front and cooperate with us so that we can at least put a half on these robberies that are happening in the city.They fear for their businesses to be targeted again and they fear for their life. We try to maintain as much patrol within their businesses and if you see the amount of Police that we have on Albert Street was being targeted about three weeks ago. We have a number of police officers on the street. We have a number of police officers in the Kings Park Area and a number of Police within that Princess Margret Drive by Princess Hotel way down to where the other hotel is by Lumbar. That is all the areas that we are covering that has been targeted or being hurt before to prevent an issue again but like I mention we have to advise the public they have to be careful and they have to do their part likewise.
Augustin may face additional charges if business owners come forward. Police say business owners have refrained from coming forward for fear of being targeted again and out of fear for their safety. Police are however maintaining patrols in areas where robberies have been prevalent.