General — 25 April 2018 — by Roy Davis (freelance reporter)
Two men charged with theft of $10,000 from Heritage Bank

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Apr. 23, 2018– Two men, Damon Dawson, 24, and Jonathan Almendarez, 21, were charged with theft when they appeared today before Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Almendarez was also charged with handling stolen goods.

The prosecutor objected to bail being granted to the men on the ground that the investigation is still ongoing and most of the stolen money has not been recovered. The prosecutor also objected on the ground that other charges are to be filed against Dawson and Almendarez.

But Dawson’s attorney, Arthur Saldivar, submitted that one of the primary concerns when determining whether to offer bail is whether the defendant is a flight risk. He said that it is clear that his client is not a flight risk because the incident occurred in October last year and his client had ample time to leave Belize if he wanted to.

Chief Magistrate Fraser did not uphold the objection. She offered each of the defendants bail of $6,000 with 1 surety or 2 sureties of $3,000 each. Their case was adjourned until July 2.

The allegation is that on October 27, 2017, Almendarez went to the San Ignacio branch of Heritage Bank and withdrew $10,000 from an account that Dawson had processed for a customer while he was working as an employee of the bank.

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