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Belize City man remanded after being accused of ‘jacking’ vehicle outside of a bar, then crashing it

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2024. 9:22 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: 25-year-old Gilbert Guzman of East Canal, Belize City, has been remanded without bail on charges of robbery, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention and driving a motor vehicle without being the holder of a valid Belizean driver’s license.

Guzman is accused of robbing 34-year-old Noel Flores of his grey Nissan Rogue valued at $24,000, then allegedly crashing it while on Albert Street.

Guzman appeared in Traffic Court on the traffic offenses separately and was then charged for the robbery on Thursday, appearing in court where he was denied bail in the first instance, owing to the prevalence of the crime, according to the Senior Magistrate. Until and unless Guzman can apply to the High Court for bail, he is remanded until April 30.

Flores told police that on February 25 he was at Five Brothers Bar on East Collet Canal, when he left around midnight to drop off a friend, then returned to the bar and eventually went to sleep inside his parked Nissan Rogue in front of the bar next to the canal side.

Flores said a slim dark-skinned man in a white t-shirt standing beside the vehicle awoke him around 12:30 a.m., said “Let’s go inside” and as they walked across asked for money. Flores refused and the man became aggressive and demanded all he had.

The assailant lifted a broken piece of bottle in his right hand, then swung at him, grazing his neck. Flores stepped back and the man jumped into the driver’s seat of the Rogue, reversing down East Collet Canal toward Orange Street, then turned into Orange Street headed east toward Albert Street.

Flores said he walked over to the bar seeking assistance and wrapped his shirt around his neck to stanch the bleeding and walked down to Precinct One Police Station on King Street, a few blocks away, to report the incident.

As Flores was speaking to police, other officers arrived at the station with a man seen bleeding from the face and hand who they said was involved in a traffic accident on Albert Street. Flores immediately pointed out the man to be the man who jacked him of his vehicle.

Police took Guzman to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment and then brought him back to police custody for an interview on Tuesday. Flores’ Rogue was also brought in and seen with damages to its front.

Guzman claimed to police that Flores loaned him, Guzman, the vehicle with the expectation that he (Guzman) was to go home and get money to continue drinking. But according to Guzman, whilst heading home, he accidentally crashed Flores’s vehicle.

Police continued their investigations and obtained enough evidence to re-arrest and charge Guzman.

 

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