By Leonard Ncube
Six gun-wielding robbers raided a bank and shop in Lupane in two separate incidents and got away with more than $1 200 and undisclosed groceries.
Police spokesperson for Matabeleland North, Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese, said the two incidents occurred in the early hours of Friday last week.
She said two suspects pounced on the Agribank branch at Lupane Business Centre where they used a metal bar to break open a front door but fled before entering the banking hall after a security guard fired a warning shot in the air.
In the other incident, four men armed with a gun raided Zapalala Wholesale shop where they used explosives to blow up a money safe after tying up two security guards with a wire and deactivating the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV).
“Police received a report about two robbery incidents in Lupane. In the first incident, the bank manager Oscar Nguqu knocked off in the evening on March 7 and left, Damo Dongo, a Fawcett Security guard manning the premises.
“Around 2AM on Friday, Dongo was conducting routine checks around the premises when he heard noise from the front of the banking hall. He went to check and saw two people trying to open an inner security door after breaking the main door. The security guard fired a warning shot into the air and the two suspects fled while threatening to shoot back,” said Chief Insp Makonese.
She said nothing was stolen from the bank but the door was damaged.
An hour later, four men allegedly pounced on two security guards, Mr Collen Nxumalo and Mr William Mhlanga, who were guarding Zapalala shop.
Chief Insp Makonese said the four armed suspects tied up the two security guards with a wire and force-marched them to the toilet and locked them inside.
The robbers gained entry into the shop by breaking the back door using a metal bar.
“They switched off the CCTV and entered the safe room. They blew the safe lock using explosives and took $1 215.20. They also tried to open another safe belonging to Mukuru which was in the same room but failed,” said Chief Insp Makonese.
She said the suspects took two empty portable metal cash boxes, an assortment of groceries and safe keys.
Investigations into the matter are in progress and no arrest has been made. The Chronicle