Security guard kills copper thief Print E-mail
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Thursday, 03 August 2017 00:00

On July 30, 2017 at 3:35 a.m., police officers visited the Independence Poly Clinic where they saw the lifeless body of a male person. The body was seen with multiple pellet wounds to the upper part of the back and behind the head. The person was pronounced dead on arrival.

Initial investigations revealed that about 11:48 p.m., security guard Gerardo Coc, 60 years old, was on duty at Aqua Mar Shrimp Farm between mile 40 and 41 on the Southern Highway armed with a licensed 16-gauge shotgun when he saw two male persons advancing towards him with a machete. He took out his shotgun and the trespassers began running away. Coc fired a single shot in their direction, causing the injury of one of the men who fell to the ground. He was transported to the Independence Poly Clinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

At approximately 2:00 p.m. on the same day, PC Roger Jaime visited the Crimes Investigation Branch office at ISF and identified the body as that of his brother-in-law, Wilfred Malcolm Jr., a 25-year-old Belizean laborer of Bella Vista Village, Toledo District.

Police are yet to charge anyone with the killing as they are investigating since there are reports that the two men were on the farm supposedly to steal copper. Police retrieved a machete and blue and black metal cutter from the scene. Police say that Aqua Mar has been plagued by copper thieves who make their way in to the compound and steal the metal which is sold to recycling companies for export. There are reports that in 2008 there were 15 incidents of copper theft at the shrimp company costing it some one hundred thousand dollars in losses.

It is noteworthy that the theft of copper has lead to numerous deaths where persons have been electrocuted or shot and killed while doing the act.

In 2011 the government of Belize introduced the Scrap Metal Recyclers Regulations, No. 36 of 2011, which requires any person or company who buys or sells scrap metal for the purpose of export or dealing to apply for a license to be a scrap metal dealer or recycler.

The new regulations also prohibit the transportation of scrap metals through the Arenal Road, Jalacte Road and Bullet tree Road. Transportation must be done by authorized trucks and an export permit must be acquired from the DOE for each shipment. Materials that are considered antiquities or artifacts, according to the National Institute of Culture and History Act, are prohibited from being exported.

There are also regulations that demand the scrap metal company to reveal the source of the material purchased.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 August 2017 13:10