The National Police says Orlando Santos Ramírez (Ariel) also known as Pedro Pablo (Pototo) admitted to the gunpoint assaults he committed on Saturday, 12 September to TV host Mariasela Alvarez and her daughter Rebeca Fernández in Serrallés and less than an hour later to Sheila Paulino, wife of TV and film producer Tuto Guerrero, in Arroyo Hondo. The arrested is accused of the gunpoint robbery of the three women. The robberies occurred from around 12:30 to 1:25pm on Saturday, 12 September 2020. The thief was riding a motorcycle.
During the Serallés robbery, the assailant also fired against a truck that stopped to aid the women. After the truck stopped, the assailant fled with just one handbag. Before doing so, he had fired his gun and the bullet perforated the truck’s passenger door. The robust construction of the truck door protected the driver and the passenger. The driver of the truck, Guillermo Batista is pressing charges that aggravate the crime to attempted murder. He is an employee of a Claro contractor company. Mariasela Alvarez called him “a true hero.”
The Police says the stolen handbags and their contents were recovered. The thief was identified by the surveillance videos of neighborhood buildings. Alvarez explained that the assailant had a limp that facilitated his identification in the Police files.
The Defense Minister Carlos Diaz Morfa and the director-general of the Police Edward Sánchez were at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday, 15 September. Commenting to the press, Sánchez asked for the people to trust the new authorities. He said that more patrols and agents would be added to improve security. He said the security strategy of the new government would soon kick in.
The recent theft victims are from two high profile families. The plus side of the assault is that the authorities are now even more motivated to tackle known obstacles to combatting crime: the lack of registration of motorcycles and the onus the Penal Code places on the victim that enables criminals to get off easy and become repeat offenders.
Transport expert and secretary general of the National District city government Hugo Beras says that the crime presses the importance of regulating motorcycles in the Dominican Republic. He says negligence of the authorities has enabled that hundreds of thousands of motorcycles are not registered.