Crime — 21 March 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego
Neighbours capture thief who was in woman’s bedroom

Residents of the Tres Cocos area of San Pedro captured a thief who was burglarizing a woman’s house. It is reported that when the owner of the house chased him after she found him in the house, the burglar fired at the owner.

Misty Plemons, 31, told police that about 10:30 Wednesday morning, she was at home when she heard noise coming from her bedroom. When she checked, she saw a masked man, with a rag tied around his face, in her bedroom.

On her approach, the thief quickly closed the room door and escaped out of the house through a window. Plemons then pursued the bandit, who fired in her direction, but missed.

According to the San Pedro Sun, the neighborhood watch group of Tres Cocos were alerted by the gunshots in their vicinity and a woman’s cries for help, and ran after the burglar, whom they caught and tackled to the ground.

The group overpowered him and held him for police, who took him to the San Pedro Police Station, where he was identified as Juan Martinez, 18, a fisherman of the San Pedrito area.

Martinez was arrested and charged in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court on Friday, with aggravated assault with a firearm, aggravated burglary, and discharging a firearm in public, and has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until April 30.

Police also say that after Martinez was caught, a search was conducted in the area and a minor who was along with Martinez was found and taken into custody. A further search led to the discovery of a .380 Browning pistol with 11 live .380 rounds, in the sea. People in the area who saw what was happening said that they saw when Martinez threw the gun into the water.

Police said that both Martinez, who is known to them on the island, and the minor, will be investigated for other crimes.

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