The Zimbabwe Republic Police has arrested seven suspected armed robbers who were targeting farms, service stations and business premises in Mashonaland Central Province. Five others are still on the run.
Those arrested are Jerry Mhere (27), Gainmore Muchenje (30), Lazarus Thulani Mathebula (31), John Murengwa (31), Lloyd Mafigu (31), Brighton Murengwa (31) and Henry Sekai (27). The police said they have so far linked them to eight cases of armed robbery.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the arrests.
“The accused embarked on armed robbery sprees in Mashonaland Central Province targeting Umsasa Farm in Mazowe, fuel service stations, a house in Chipundura Park (Bindura), Chevakadzi Business Centre, a house in Chiwaridzo and general dealer’s shops at Chiwaridzo Business Centre,” she said.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said on November 6, detectives received a tip-off and intercepted the suspects who were travelling in a grey Toyota Wish (AEW 0755) at Mverechena Business Centre in Domboshava.
They recovered an Akdal TR02 9x19mm pistol black in colour with 10 rounds of ammunition, a Star pistol, a black shotgun with 26×12 bore rounds, nine cellphones, $1 230,65 in bond notes and coins, over R9 000, US$47 and a toy gun.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has mobilised its intelligence system throughout the country and will certainly account for all robbery syndicates moving around in various types of vehicles targeting business people, homes and individuals who normally carry large sums of money,” Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.
She urged members of the public to continue giving them information on the movement of criminals and warned people against carrying large sums of money.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Bindura is also looking for five suspects in connection with robberies, which occurred in Bindura.
They are Tinashe Munanga (37) of 66A Chiremba, Epworth, Ishmael Mutungira (23) of 1123 Kuwadzana Extension, George Gift Dandemutande (28) of 4456 1st Circle Glen View, Mugove Chimuti (28) and Musarurwa Gutsa (42) of 1414 Kuwadzana Extension, Harare.
CID acting spokesperson Detective Assistant Inspector Temptations Gondokondo said the suspects were masquerading as police officers.
In one of the cases, on May 23, 2017, the gang hatched a plan to rob seven complainants in and around Aerodrome, Bindura.
“In order for their mission to be a success, they roped in a juvenile boy whom they gave a car battery and used him as bait,” said Detective Asst Insp Gondokondo. “On the same day at around 01.30 hours, the suspects approached the first complainant, who is a security guard at a shop in Aerodrome, Bindura, and accused him of selling a stolen car battery to the juvenile.
“They told him that he was under arrest and took him to the next shop where they confronted the second complainant using the same modus operandi. They took the two complainants to an alley between the two shops and forced them to lie face down on the ground.
“They tied the complainants’ hands using shoelaces, took their cellphones and left them being guard by one of them.”
Detective Asst Insp Gondokondo said the suspects used the same method of operation to rob four other victims at different shops around Aerodrome, Bindura.
They also robbed other victims of $1 300 bond notes, US$1 300 and a commuter omnibus, in separate incidents. The Herald