BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Feb. 11, 2016–Police are today advising businesspeople to be more vigilant is securing their businesses and properties against criminals who are posing as police officers to gain entrance to the businesses.
They report that between 12:10 Wednesday morning and 11:55 Wednesday night, two businesses, CBC on C Street in Kings Park and Harpy Security Firm on Antelope Street, fell victim to the criminals’ hoax.
A police report dated this evening says that, “A dispatcher at Harpy Security Firm located at #7008 Antelope Street Extension, Belize City reported that on 10/02/16 at 12:10 a.m. whilst on duty at her place of work, she heard someone at the front door, whereupon making checks, she saw a male person dressed in a khaki button-down shirt, tucked inside a blue in color long pants and a black warm hat on his head who identified himself as a ‘police officer.’
“She stated that the male person said that he was there to make checks on the business place so she opened the front grill door and allowed him to enter.
“Upon entering, the male person pulled out a knife from his pants waist and grabbed her from around her neck, took her inside the main office, where he demanded that she open one of the doors, to which she complied.
“Thereafter, he went inside and started to search. He then went back to the main office and told her that he has been watching the place for a while and that he knows her family and not to call for the police, and left.
“She then called her supervisor, who made checks and found out that nothing was stolen.”
Police say that that night, some brazen thieves struck again, this time stealing a revolver from a security guard of another business.
Said police: “On 10.02.16 at 11:55 p.m., based on information received, police visited CBC parking lot on C Street Belize City, where they met the security guard who reported that at 11:40 p.m. while inside the compound to the back and armed with his company’s brown with black grip .38 revolver loaded with 5 live .38 rounds, he heard a loud banging and saw a light coming from the front of the compound and heard someone shouting ‘Police, police come out’.
“As a result, he went to make a check where he met two Hispanic male persons dressed in what appeared to be police uniforms who informed him that they had received a call that an illegal firearm is concealed on the premises and that a search will be conducted.
“One was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun and was wearing an apparent police uniform with a maroon sweater. The other person also wearing apparent police uniform and a green sweater had a flashlight in his hand.
“Believing they were police officers, he let the two persons proceed with their search; however, nothing was found. The person with the flashlight then requested that he (the security guard) show them his firearm which he had on him, to which he complied, and took out the gun and showed it to the male person.
“It was there that the person took away the gun from him and informed him that he will be taken to the police station for questioning. They then proceeded to tie his hands, leaving him at the said location.”
Police say that based on these incidents, they are strongly encouraging business owners to revisit their security systems and mechanisms in order to safeguard their businesses and properties, especially firearms, and assist in the prevention of these incidents by first confirming that indeed persons presenting themselves are police officers by requesting an identification card.
When in doubt, they say, seek confirmation by calling 911 or the police precinct in your area.