Armed robbery at Lark Caye

COMPOL Williams visits Christian Gusenbauer

In recent months, there has been an increase in the number of piracy incidents and both the Police and Coast Guard have become more active in their efforts to diminish the attacks. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams commented on these occurrences, explaining that it seems to be three groups working within southern Belize to carry out these crimes. Some persons known to police have been arrested for fisheries offenses as well as being members of gangs. He further stated that two of the groups seem to specifically operate between the Stann Creek District and Honduras.
One of the most recent of these incidents took place exactly in the Stann Creek District, six miles off the Placencia Peninsula. Armed robbers descended on Lark Caye, owned by the 46-year-old victim of this crime and retired Austrian, Christian Gusenbauer on Friday, February 1, 2021. But it was not until a number of Facebook posts stating that he had been shot made it to the public that the police became aware of the situation. Gusenbauer wrote several pleas to the public and to the police for assistance and within an hour, the police had made their way to the island. They met someone waving from a window of a two-storey building where they met at least two glass windows completely shattered. After making their way inside the home, they found Gusenbauer with a gunshot wound to the buttock. He was transported to and stabilized at the Southern Regional Hospital for treatment to his injuries and has since been visited by the COMPOL, as are many shooting victims.
Gusenbauer has since reported to police that he was inside his home at around 6:45 p.m. when he saw three or four men, all of dark complexion, creeping outside his home. They gained access to the home by firing shots at his glass windows. Gusenbauer locked himself inside his bathroom but the men fired shots at the door. They demanded money and fearing for his life and safety, Gusenbauer complied. They were able to make off with items including an undisclosed amount of cash as well as the keys to his boat, Private Haven. They used this boat to make their way off the island after firing shots in his direction, one of which caused his injury. Police have since been able to recover the boat near Sittee Point but not before the men managed to remove the boat’s engines. Police further conducted searches for evidence in the area where the boat was found as well as other fishing camps.