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San Pedro business owner killed during robbery

HeadlineSan Pedro business owner killed during robbery

Photo: Elvis Raul Polanco, deceased

Elvis Raul Polanco, 43, was the owner of Jade Bar on Ambergris Caye. One of the alleged robbers, a police constable currently on interdiction for a domestic incident, worked as a security guard for Polanco.

by Khaila Gentle

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Nov. 21, 2022

A 32-year-old police corporal who is on interdiction and a 25-year-old ex-policeman have both been detained following the early morning robbery that left business owner Elvis Raul Polanco dead.

At some time around 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 19, Polanco and his common-law wife, 25-year-old Thomasa Evelia Velasco Garcia, were driving home in their golf cart when a man with a red shirt over his face emerged from the bushes near the entrance to the Escalante Subdivision area and fired shots at the couple. Both Polanco and Garcia quickly exited the vehicle. The gunman then ran over to the golf cart and took Garcia’s purse, which contained $12,000 in cash. He then ran after Polanco and fired at least one more shot before escaping.

Garcia, who had been shot in the hand, found Polanco lying on the ground with four gunshot wounds. She rushed him to the nearby San Pedro Polyclinic, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Upon arriving at the scene of the shooting, police officers found Garcia’s purse along with some cash still inside.

One of the men who have since been detained in connection with the incident is Paul Mortis, 32. So far, he has been charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition after police discovered an unlicensed 9 mm pistol in his home. Mortis, who is from the San Mateo area in San Pedro, was hired by Polanco to work as a security guard full-time after being placed on interdiction for a domestic incident just a few months ago. He also reportedly owns a licensed 9 mm pistol which police have been unable to locate.

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams spoke about the robbery-turned-homicide during Monday’s police press briefing. He noted that the other suspect, a 25-year-old ex-police officer from the DFC area, had been dismissed from the force months ago. He also added that Mortis, as Polanco’s employee, was likely to have been aware of Polanco’s movements.

“From what we are gathering at this time, they may have left the establishment just after closing. Knowing the route that the proprietor takes and where he lives, they went and awaited him. All indications are showing that while the interdicted police was working, the one who had been dismissed was there with him, and they were together. And so they may have left together to await the proprietor when he got home,” Williams said.

Both men are in police custody pending charges. An investigation is ongoing.

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