Crown opens case for liquor store robbery

A jury on Tuesday heard how three armed men held up Blackbeard’s liquor store in Grand Harbour, stealing thousands of dollars from the store, as well as a purse from one of the customers. 

Andrew Lopez, Bron Webb and Randy Connor are charged with the Dec. 17, 2014 robbery. They have pleaded not guilty to the charge. 

CCTV in the store showed the three men entering and demanding cash. One pointed a gun at a female customer and demanded her purse. 

Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards said the robbery occurred around 7:30 p.m. Four men had driven to Grand Harbour in a black Ford Escape – one remained in the vehicle, while the three others entered the store, two of them carrying guns. One of the guns was a gold-colored shotgun. 

The Crown’s case was based on circumstantial evidence – the finding of the vehicle and clothing within 15 minutes of the robbery and the discovery of the shotgun the following day, she said. 

After the robbery, the female cashier called 911. 

A woman outside the store saw a man with a short silver gun entering a dark car parked at the curb. A police officer in the shopping complex was alerted and he gave chase. The vehicle entered into the Prospect area and he lost sight of it. 

Two armed officers who had been alerted drove to the area, and in the vicinity of Morningside Drive they noticed a male peeping out of a door. They parked nearby and saw a black Ford Escape parked under a tree. They saw a man going toward the vehicle and jumped a fence to intercept him. He was identified as Lopez. Then they saw another man, identified as Webb, whom they believed was attempting to leave the scene. 

The officers looked into what they referred to as a washer room and saw Connor and Devon Wright. 

Wright is not before the court. 

An officer then noticed a tan purse lying on the floor, along with a quantity of cash and clothing. Money recovered from the scene was CI$4,536 and US$594. 

The men are charged with robbing the cashier of CI$4,604.42 and US$582. 

Ms. Richards said the house was sealed and officers were placed on guard until the next day, when a further search was carried out and a gold-colored 12-gauge shotgun was found. It contained three live cartridges. 

When the men were interviewed, Lopez said his house was a “hangout spot.” Webb said he went to the house, fell asleep and when he woke up, Lopez was being arrested. 

Connor said he had been at home with Wright fixing a car and they walked to Lopez’s home, and when they arrived they saw Lopez on the ground. 

A check with the Vehicle Licensing Department showed there were only three 2004 black Ford Escapes on the island. The owners of the other two provided statements that their vehicles were not in the vicinity of Grand Harbour at the time of the robbery.

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