A thief in Bogota on Friday was given an unprecedented prison sentence of 42 years for kidnap and robbery in a style of crime commonly known as the “millionaire ride.”
Bogota taxi driver, Jimmy Belisario Perez Gutierrez, was convicted Monday of taking a millionaire’s walk. The notorious walk is when the perpetrators take their victims from ATM to ATM and force them to withdraw cash. For a reduced sentence, the 34-year-old Perez admitted to the crime, but refused to give up any of his accomplices.
The judge imposed the stiff 42-year sentence in order to “send a message to the community” and give “the defendant … the opportunity to reflect on his crimes.”
According to reports, after a party in January of 2012, a couple got in to Perez’s taxi intending to go home. Yet when the vehicle stopped all of a sudden, several men forced them to hand over their credit cards, phones, and cash.
The couple were then taken on a 40-minute ride to different ATMs until their bank accounts were emptied of over $3,000. One of the victims noted the taxi’s license plate and the police captured Perez a couple of days later.
The taxi driver was convicted of kidnapping and aggravated theft. The judge said that the crime was in “contempt of the personal freedom of individuals, human dignity, and unusual moral insensitivity for economic gain.”
To put this in to conext, this sentence is almost twice as long as that given to Colombian military officer Nestor Guillermo Gutierrez who was sentenced to 22 years in prison for aggravated homicide and illegal weapons posession. Perez’s penalty also heavily outweighs the sentence handed out to ex-paramilitary commander Jorge Ivan Laverde Zapata, alias “El Iguano,” who in October was sentenced to 13 years in prison after admitting to aggravated murder amongst other crimes. Even Timochenko, the leader of the FARC guerrilla group, was only sentenced to 34 years in absentia.
- Convicted officer told Colombian soldiers to lie about false positives (Colombia Reports)
- Ejemplar condena a prision por “paseo millonario” (El Tiempo)
- Responsable de paseo millonario en Bogota pagara 42 años de carcel (Caracol)
- Condena por paseo millonario (El Tiempo)
- Ex AUC member sentenced to 13 years (Colombia Reports)