Headline — 09 February 2016 — by Johnelle McKenzie

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 8, 2016–Stephen Hemple, 75, and Cynthia Fredrick, 65, both Canadian retirees, came to Belize on vacation and had checked into the Tropical Education Center, located at Mile 28 at the George Price Highway, at 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

A few hours later, however, at approximately 3:30 p.m., they were held up by two men, one of whom had a gun, and robbed of their belongings.

Celso Pott, operations manager for the resort, said that they were unaware of the incident even though at the time there were other guests and staff present. Pott said that Fredrick went outside to take pictures and it was then that she encountered the robbers, who took her back to her cabin, where they reportedly took her and Hemple into a separate room, and stole their belongings.

A police report stated that the two Canadians were robbed of one iPhone 4 valued at $400; one iPhone 4S, valued at $400; two cameras valued at $350 each; two mini iPods valued at $400, and one large iPod tablet valued at $600 – all of which were valued in Canadian currency.

Apparently, the two robbers gained access to the premises by means of the old Western Highway, which is adjacent to it, and were attempting to make their exit using the same route.

A police report said that Jorge Cruz Lopez, who happened to be driving on the old Western Highway at the same time in a red double cab Mazda pickup, was held up by the robbers, who threw their bicycles across the road to stop the pickup.

The police report indicated that the robbers, to get Lopez’s vehicle, “shot him in the right lower back” and attempted to shoot him in the head, but the gun snapped a number of times and Lopez took the opportunity to chop one of the men across the arm before the duo escaped in his vehicle.

Police were alerted that a man was at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) with a chop wound across his arm, and when they went to the hospital, they found the person to be one Adolphus Palacio, Jr., who is now under police guard at the KHMH.

Broaster said the suspect, at the hospital in a stable condition, will be charged for robbery and aggravated assault.


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