For the second time in ten years the home of the Honorary Consul General for Lebanon to Belize, 77-year-old, Sarkis Abou- Nehra, was invaded. In the first instance dated December 6, 2005, it had turned out to be a failed attempted robbery with Abou-Nehra receiving an injury to his right hand. But a few hours after night fall on Thursday, December 3, 2015, a bandit of thieves would once again invade the general consul’s estate; this time, leaving with cash and valuables, in addition to committing an act of sexual assault. At the time of the incident, the diplomat was not at home; only the property’s caretaker and his spouse. With the case of aggravated burglary unfolding on the Bermudian Landing Road just outside Burrell Boom Village, the authorities at the Ladyville Police station had launched an aggressive investigation into the matter. But, following today’s press briefing, led by Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, one may ask, was this incident avoidable. According to Broaster, officers in the area had intercepted two of the men earlier in the day.
“We want to brief the media as to some activities that we were encountering prior to the aggravated burglary that occurred. On Wednesday around 11am our patrol intercepted two individuals, Leon Grinage and Adrian Aveloy and they had stopped them and interviewed them and searched them and they headed back to Belize City. Later on in that day we learned that they came back into the Ladyville area and our patrol through the intelligence gathered searched the Ladyville Area for them and did not find them. On Thursday around 6:30pm due to the “See something, Say something, Stop something” campaign that we are mounting in our area, our police intercepted a black Honda Accord which had in two suspects that were arrested in this incident claiming that their vehicle was overheating and they were repairing it. Nevertheless they were questioned and the vehicle was checked and searched and they were released.”
The men were released but the concerns lingered in the neighbourhood as the police were once again alerted and had gone out to the area to make sure all was well. Little did they know, that at the time, the caretaker and his spouse were being assaulted.
When all was said and done and the eight armed men who invaded the property had left with an estimated thirteen thousand dollars, four firearms, several pieces of jewelry and a silver Mercedes Benz with diplomatic plates, an intense investigation was launched. An investigation which led to the first big lead and uncovering a vehicle containing some of the stolen items from Abou-Nehra’s home. Broaster spoke of the first big lead in the case.
“By Friday night one of our police officers who was patrolling, very observant I must add, caused our patrol to intercept a vehicle and that vehicle when intercepted, or the individuals that were intercepted at the Blues Bar started a snowball where the vehicle was intercepted and searches were made of that vehicle and stolen items from the aggravated burglary were found in that vehicle. Since that interception the leads started falling into place and we began to gather the evidence that we needed and to date we have arrested and charged John Grinage, Jerson Grinage, Brandon Baptist, Sheldon Grinage and Randolph Coleman along with Tyron Meighan jointly for the crime of aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit rape, handling stolen goods and theft. Separately Tyron Meighan was charged for rape. Kimira Cacho, Crystal Augustine, Ashanti Roches and all others mentioned before were likewise charged for handling stolen goods.”
While Broaster was hesitant to list the items stolen from the home, he did note that none of the firearms has been recovered.
“We are not going to get into the specifics of the items recovered only to mention to you that we will be sharing with you all pictures of the six firearms that were stolen from the residence which include three 9mm pistols, two shotguns and one .22 rifle and we are going to encourage the community to call 922 TIPS and report any of the guns if they recognize them to 922 TIPS and hopefully they will then get a handsome reward that will enable them to have a great Christmas Shopping this year.
According to Broaster, they are seeking additional persons in connection with this incident.