By Nqobile Tshili
Police have urged gun owners to secure their firearms as some of them are being stolen and used to commit crimes.
The statement by the police follows a spate of armed robberies across the country where suspects have escaped with substantial amounts of money.
In an interview, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said gun owners will be charged for failing to secure their weapons in terms of the Firearms Act.
“We are urging people who are licensed to possess firearms for security reasons such as cash-in-transit, crop protection or any other business to adhere to the stipulated procedures under which those fire arms were issued.
We have individuals who are not locking up their guns in gun cabinets as required,”said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He said some people were driving their vehicles with firearms displayed on seats.
“When these people go out of their vehicles, they usually leave the firearms which are then stolen and used by criminals. We also have a challenge of people who give their firearms to friends and those firearms are later used in commission of crimes,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.
He said on their part, cops have raided and arrested several armed robbery suspects in Bulawayo, Harare, Mutare and Chegutu and will continue removing criminals from society.
Asst Comm Nyathi said police suspect that some of the armed robbers are working in cahoots with people employed at premises they raid.
He said it was suspicious that robbers always raid houses or business premises where victims lose substantial amounts of money.
Asst Comm Nyathi said individuals and companies that handle large sums of money should avoid being predictable in moving their cash.
“For those who conduct daily transactions where they carry or realise large sums of money, they should make it a point that they vary their banking schedules. We have information that some of the companies are being monitored by criminals who have inside information,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said police were also concerned about an increase in car theft cases.
“Motorists are leaving their cars with ignition keys on and criminals are taking advantage of this to steal these cars. We are appealing to motorists to always secure their vehicles,” he said. The Chronicle