By Nqobile Tshili
POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested a suspected “flashy” armed robber and recovered four guns after raiding his hideout in New Magwegwe suburb.
Police arrested Ishmael Mutungiri (24) on Monday morning following a tip off from members of the public.
During the raid, police recovered four guns from Mutungiri, some of them linked to several armed robbery cases in the Midlands and Harare.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango said Mutungiri was assisting the police with investigations. “Police arrested the suspect following a tip off from members of the public.
Members of the public observed that although the suspect was not working and was always in the neighbourhood, he lived a very flashy lifestyle. This prompted residents to report him to the police,” she said.
Chief Insp Simango said detectives who raided Mutungiri’s hide-out discovered that he was wanted for armed robbery and had skipped bail in Chitungwiza.
“Acting on a residents’ tip off, the detectives raided the house in New Magwegwe, leading to his arrest. When the officers searched the house, they discovered four guns that were hidden in one of the rooms.
“Of the four guns, two of them were loaded with ammunition and had been used in committing crimes,” she said.
“Three of the guns were pistols and the other one was a revolver. In the Zimbabwean context, these are serious weapons to be found with a civilian considering that only a few people in the country own guns.”
Chief Insp Simango said Mutungiri is suspected to be part of a gang behind armed robbery cases in Harare and the Midlands.
“It seems the robbers are now even targeting guns in their raids because after investigations were conducted, some of the guns were linked to some properties that had reported armed robbery crimes.
Two of the guns were confiscated during robberies and we suspect he is part of a gang that raided shops in Harare, Gweru and Shurugwi.
“Last month, the gang raided a cash in transit vehicle in Harare getting away with $5 000. We have not experienced many robberies of such nature.
“So we urge even security companies to be very alert because we believe some of these guys could be criminals escaping from other countries where such crimes are prevalent,” she said.
Chief Insp Simango commended Bulawayo residents for partnering the police in fighting crimes, saying they would not be effective in weeding out criminals on their own. The Chronicle.