Crooked Tree Village is normally a very peaceful and tranquil haven for birdwatchers from all over the world, but Tuesday night a villager was violently robbed in his home at gunpoint for over BZ$10,000.00
On Tuesday night, March 20th, around 8:30 p.m. two masked gunmen entered the home of villager Bill Tillett and held him up at gun point. The two demanded money, ransacked his home and robbed him of his gun, cell phone, and the keys to his home and tied him up in his bathroom. They reportedly rode off over the Crooked Tree Lagoon with $10,000.00 in cash. Mr. Tillett believed that the strangers were tipped off by a villager about the sale of some cattle he sold the day before. Several hours after, the police arrived from Ladyville Village, but the criminals were nowhere to be found.
It is important to note that Crooked Tree Village, one of the largest villages in the Belize District, does not have a functioning police station or an officer assigned to the village. The Ladyville Village Police, which is about 23 miles away, is now assigned to manage Crooked Tree Village.
In May of 2011 I personally contacted Mr. Doug Singh, the then Minister of Police and Public Safety. Two meetings were set up at his office in Belize City, but Singh never showed up for these appointments. Mr. Singh later sent me an e-mail promising to go to Crooked Tree Village to hold community policing meetings and would work with villagers on establishing a new police station for Crooked Tree Village. Needless to say, the villagers are still waiting for Mr. Singh.