The former Regional Commander of the Salvation Army and his conductress, Marilee Cardinez, 28, were beaten and robbed
HATTIEVILLE, Belize District, Mon. Feb. 26, 2018– An elderly bus driver and his conductress were the victims of an early morning home invasion on Friday.
According to police reports, Errol Robateau, 73, a member and former Regional Commander of the Salvation Army, was in his home at around 4 a.m. getting ready for work when five armed men entered his Hattieville house.
He was reportedly beaten with a stick.
While he was tied up inside his home some of the other assailants attacked his conductress, Marilee Cardinez, 28, who had reported to work.
She was also assaulted, but with a gun.
The assailants then made off with cell phones, a laptop and other items.
In an interview with the press, Cardinez recounted the ordeal.
“This morning, I reached work [Robateau’s home] at about 10 to 5. I was getting out my phone to call him because he is usually in the bus, sitting down, and starting it when I reach there. The bus wasn’t started. So, I took out my phone and called him, and two gunmen came from behind the bus. They took away my phone and told me to shut up. When I screamed, they hit me hard in the head with the gun. They took me inside,” she recollected.
According toCardinez, when she got inside, she saw Robateau on the ground, tied up.
She explained, “…my boss was already tied up on the ground. About three or four men were over him, beating him. They asked where the money was, and I told them that I didn’t have any money, and that he had all the money. They beat him and asked him for the money…”
According to her the culprits then ransacked the house.
When asked if anything was also stolen from her, Cardinez said, “Yes, my money, and Mr. Robateau’s money, my phone, Mr. Robateau’s two phones, his laptop, and a small keyboard from Mr. Robateau.”
According to Cardinez, she turned to God in her time of fear.
“I was only just praying to God and ask him for help, to send help, and bring us through this, to make nothing happen to us,” she said, “I think that all of them had weapons. One moment, we heard them crank it, and they said that they were going to kill the boss if he didn’t give up the rest of money that he had. All of them had on masks.”
Cardinez spoke about Robateau, who had previously served as the Regional Commander in the Salvation Army.
“He’s the best boss you can have. He’s like a father because I lost my dad 6 months ago,” she said.
After the incident she visited him at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) and found him in good spirits.
She recounted, “When I left, they hadn’t done the CT scan yet. He says that he was waiting, but he was laughing and joking, and he said that he thanked God nothing worse ever happened, and none of us got killed.”
According to her, he was not worried about the items stolen but instead was concerned about their lives.
Cardinez told the press that she heard of robberies and other property crimes but never believed she would have been a victim.
She said, “I never knew it was gonna happen to him and me. He doesn’t mess with anybody, and he’s a friendly man.”
As we go to press tonight there have been no new developments in connection with the incident.