Police, in a textbook operation, caught all 6 of the robbers as they tried to escape
NORTHERN BORDER, Corozal District, Thurs. Feb. 28, 2019– Six brazen criminals targeted money changers at the Northern Border early this morning in a robbery that failed miserably. They were able to steal the businessmen’s cash, but were all apprehended by police before they could get away.
The entire incident, which began around 7:15 a.m., was captured by surveillance footage, which is still making its rounds on social media. In the footage, a green SUV is seen driving up to where the money changers are usually located – under a shed almost directly across from the border station where people going to Mexico go in to get their passport stamped.
There is a long bench underneath this shed, where the money changers conduct their business, and there is a street in front and a street at the back of it. The street in the front is used by the persons travelling across the border; it leads to a roundabout that precedes the bridge that leads to the Mexican border. The street at the back is used to park vehicles.
Five men suddenly emerged from the SUV, brandishing firearms. The men then pounced on the seven money changers who were present, quickly relieving them of their money pouches. Fortunately, none of the money changers was injured.
The driver of the thieves’ vehicle managed to turn it around before the five robbers jumped back into it. The vehicle then sped away in the direction of Corozal Town. The entire operation may not have taken more than a minute.
Unfortunately for the robbers, a combination of officers from the Mobile Interdiction Team (MIT), Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB), Special Patrol Unit (SPU), and Corozal police all happened to be at the border at the exact time the robbery happened.
Today, at a press briefing held in Belmopan, Senior Superintendent Marco Vidal, Commander of Operations, said that the officers were present at the border because they were conducting an investigation on a completely different matter.
As the robbers were speeding away in their getaway car, the officers fired several shots at their vehicle, damaging it significantly. The officers then set chase after the criminals in their own vehicle. During the pursuit, there was a heavy exchange of gunfire between the robbers and the police.
The officers were able to catch up to the criminals after the SUV ran off the road. The robbers attempted to escape by foot, but one by one, the officers were able to apprehend them. Four of the robbers sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries, with one currently in a critical condition. They have all been hospitalized.
The officers combed the area and were able to recover the stolen money pouches with the money in them. At the time of the briefing this morning, all the money had not been counted as yet, so police were unable to confirm if it had all been recovered; however, they believe they found all that was stolen.
Police were also able to recover a 9mm pistol, a .380 pistol, and a .223 rifle with magazine and ammunition. As of the time of the briefing, there were still officers on the ground, and the investigation is still ongoing.
The four injured robbers will be placed into police custody once they are released from the hospital; the fifth robber and the driver are already in custody. According to Sr. Supt. Vidal, the men are all Belizeans, from Corozal Town. Police have not yet released the names of the men but unconfirmed rumors are that one of them used to work at the Corozal hospital.
Commissioner Chester Williams was also at the briefing, and he assured the Belizean public that the Police Department continues to remain vigilant and will continue to pursue their goal of minimizing crime. He commended the officers who put their lives on the line every day to ensure this objective is achieved.