General — 20 October 2015 — by Albert J. Ciego
D-Max pickup stolen from owner at gunpoint

SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Cayo District, Mon. Oct. 19, 2015–The owner of an Isuzu D Max pickup was held up at gunpoint in San Ignacio by three gunmen, who stole his pickup and escaped by speeding down Joseph Andrews Drive.

    The incident occurred at about 7:30 Saturday evening. Nigel Espat, 34, a businessman of San Ignacio Town, told police that he and his friends came out of Sunset Bar, situated on Savannah Avenue, San Ignacio Town, and he walked to his blue 2007 D-Max pickup valued at $40,000, which was parked on the opposite side of the road.

    Espat went to the driver’s door and upon doing so, was approached by a slimly-built Hispanic man who was dressed in long jeans pants and a buttoned shirt who, came from the opposite side of the road. The man pointed a black pistol at him and ordered him, “Give me the key; otherwise I will shoot you.”

    Fearing for his life, Espat handed over the key for his pickup. The bandit then told him, “Give me your telephone,” and Espat handed over his black iPhone and 5 cellular phones valued at $2,000.

    The gunman then jumped into the pickup; two other Hispanic men also jumped into the pickup, one in the left side of the rear seat and the other in the right front passenger seat. They then drove off in the direction of Joseph Andrews drive.

    San Ignacio police responded quickly and went down the Santa Rosa and Calla Creek roads through Bullet Tree Village, and located the D-max pickup, which had been abandoned about 200 yards from the main Calla Creek road, on a feeder road in a savannah which is used to access Guatemalan territory. The key for the vehicle was missing, however.

    The pickup was in working condition when it was recovered, but so far, the thieves, have not been located.

    Many individuals are irate, however, because they believe the absence of police vehicle checkpoints in the area made it easy for the gunman and his accomplices to escape with the stolen vehicle.

    The stealing of this D-Max occurred about two weeks after a D-Max pickup belonging to St. Martin Credit Union, of San Ignacio, was similarly stolen at gunpoint by three Guatemalans from the credit union’s general manager as he drove into his yard and was coming out of the pickup.

    In similar manner, the gunmen had told the general manager, who had just driven into his yard, to give them the keys for the pickup, or else they would shoot him. This pickup has not been found.

    In Espat’s case, he quickly raised the alarm and with the assistance of his family members and friends, pursued the thieves. They found the D-Max abandoned about 2 miles from Melchor, on the Guatemalan border. It was abandoned after it bogged in mud, and the bandits escaped on foot.

    Inspector Raymundo Reyes, Deputy Commander of the San Ignacio Police, had told Amandala that police would step up patrols in the areas used by criminals to smuggle stolen vehicles into Guatemala.

    It is strongly believed that the D-Max pickup belonging to the St. Martin Credit Union is somewhere in Guatemala in parts unknown.

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