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Residents of Spanish Lookout Apprehend Burglars and conduct a Citizens Arrest

Three men are behind bars after they burglarized the Caribbean Tire’s main office in Spanish Lookout and were shortly apprehended by members of the community on Sunday morning. Security personnel arrived on the scene but the men were gone, and that’s when they launched a manhunt for the burglars. Love News spoke to one of the community’s leaders, Ronny Plett, who explained how they were able to apprehend the men.

Randy Plett, Chief Security, Spanish Lookout: “We got a call early in the morning. The security team we got a call that there was a break-in in progress. We had a rapid response but as you have seen in the other stories the burglars were able to get away before we arrived on scene. Unfortunately they were actually able to avoid detection for a while and so they actually burgled two different buildings on the same yard of Caribbean Tire. Fortunately they actually did not find anything of significant value in the buildings so they made off with just a small amount of change but we responded as rapidly as possible but they left just before we got there. Immediately we deployed some of the equipment and the team all over the community and we immediately began following up leads and information and things that we were observing on the ground and how to pursue these guys. Caribbean Tire as you know is located pretty much exactly downtown in Spanish Lookout. These guys trekked pretty much straight east in the direction of Belmopan out of the community and so they went close to the BNE compound back in that area toward the Buena Vista Village in some of the denser foliage back there is where we ended up finally catching up with them. We actually had to cross a number of creeks and around a few ponds and then finally in the midst of a pile of bamboo is where we finally caught one of the first ones. Shortly thereafter we got a call from a concerned citizen who had observed some very strange behavior from a person driving. I guess the police were just coming into town at that moment and they had seen the person in the vehicle reacting like they were very scared of the police at that moment and so as soon as I received that call we responded out there. I had guys there very rapidly and we were able to find the vehicle actually right in the area and when we reached to the vehicle we asked him to stop and immediately we asked the name of the passenger and we had received information from the first suspect that we had already caught so we knew the name of the person we were looking for, we were not entirely sure of their appearance but as soon as the suspect gave us the name we were immediately certain that we had caught the right person.”

Plett also explained how the community was able to mobilize this quickly and launch the search with a team of twenty men.

Randy Plett, Chief Security, Spanish Lookout: “We have various different measures implemented already throughout the community. I would say the biggest tool and I wish more communities in the country of Belize used this because it is by far the most powerful weapon and that is simply good communication in your neighborhood watch group. We have people actively engaged, rapidly engaged sending information in and out as they see stuff and then passing it on to the relevant people who can respond to it. We’ve actually had some trainers come in in the past that we invited ourselves that have given us some good training for both tracking and pursuing criminals so that obviously helped as well. A number of my team have been through a number of different trainings relating to these police and security matters.”

The men have since been identified as thirty-three-year-old Robert Young, eighteen-year-old Middleton Ortiz, and Floyd Flowers, all of Belmopan City who according to the police are pending charges.