General — 24 February 2012 — by Rochelle Gillett
St. Martin De Porres Primary School was burglarized last week Thursday, but this news somehow didn’t reach our newsroom until today.
Today, Amandala visited the parish and spoke with Father Brian Christopher to find out what transpired.
Father Brian told us that he was jolted out of his slumber about 3:30 a.m. last week Thursday, February 16. When he awoke, he saw the silhouette of a person beside his bed and started screaming, kicking and punching.
Whoever it was that was there, ran out of the room and left the parish. When Father Brian got out of the bed and turned on the lights, he saw a piece of rope and duct tape. The intruder apparently had plans to tie him up and tape his mouth, and then stealing whatever he could carry out of the parish.
Father Brian, along with another Jesuit who lives there, went downstairs and outside, and that was when they saw where and how the burglars gained entrance into the building. They had dug a hole under the garage wall and slid under it. The person then pried off the door frame from a door and entered the lower level of the parish.
The priest is not sure how long the burglars were in the building, but they managed to break into a couple of offices and desks. To his knowledge, however, only a laptop computer was stolen. They don’t know for sure how many persons had entered the parish, but the other Jesuit, although his door was closed, thought he heard two persons walking down the corridor. A neighbor informed them that they had also seen two persons running from the parish.
Father Brian wasn’t seriously injured during the scuffle with the intruder – only a few scratches on his arm and his knee, although he isn’t sure if the injury on his knee was inflicted by the intruder, or was a defensive wound.
Amandala was informed that Father Brian had some martial arts training, and that was why he could have defended himself against the intruder. However, Father Brian assured us that it was pure adrenaline rage that allowed him to defend himself.
Father Brian is asking for the public’s and pawn shop owners’ assistance with the recovery of the laptop; it is a gray MAC BOOK PRO. If anyone comes across it, either in a pawnshop or by someone bringing it to your house, please go to the parish or contact him at phone # 222-4449, so they can compare the serial number.
Father Brian told us that many people have gone to the parish to express how ashamed they are about what has taken place, and mentioned the outpouring of support and concern from neighbours and parents – “and that is the spirit of Belize.”
“Even Mr. Carlos Diaz came across the street to us, after he heard the commotion, to see what had happened and if we were ok,” he said.
This break-in has been the third since September and there have been at least two other unsuccessful attempts.