By Michell Zvanyanya
Police in Bulawayo have recovered property valued at RTGS$300 000 allegedly stolen by a three-man gang in daylight raids from households in Cowdray Park suburb between June and this month.
Bulawayo Metropolitan provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the recovery on Monday, saying they have arrested one man who is assisting with investigations following a tip off from members of the public.
“I can confirm the recovery of property valued at RTGS$300 000 stolen through cases of unlawful entry at Cowdray Park New Stands in Bulawayo between the period June to October this year. The police managed to arrest one suspect while others are still at large,” she said.
Chief Insp Simango said beds, plasma television sets, refrigerators, decoders, DVD players and microwave ovens were some of the goods recovered.
She said the suspects, whose identities she could not reveal for investigation purposes, allegedly broke into the houses during the day in the owners’ absence.
“The suspects would allegedly disguise themselves as people looking for a house to rent. In some cases, they would knock and if there was no response, they would know there was no one at home and they would break in and steal property,” Chief Insp Simango said.
The suspects allegedly used a Honda Fit vehicle to carry the stolen property.
“When we searched the Honda Fit vehicle they were using, which was purported to be a taxi, its number plates were tampered with so that the public would not see the registration number,” said Chief Insp Simango.
She urged members of the public to safeguard their houses and report suspicious behaviour occurring in their communities to the police.
“We would like to appeal to members of the public to ensure they leave their houses in the custody of someone or tell their neighbours to watch over the house in their absence. They should also have a keen interest on people who are transporting property to know where it is coming from and where it is going. They should not turn a blind eye,” Chief Insp Simango said.
“If they suspect it is stolen property, they should not confront the suspects because in this scenario they had machetes, knives and a firelighter that looks like a gun, which they were using to scare people.
“Members of the public should inform the police because they can be injured by criminals. Members of the public can report crime cases on our hotline number 09-885479, toll free 110 or 999. Alternatively, they can contact the nearest police station or neighbourhood watch committee.”
Chief Insp Simango appealed to members of the public to desist from buying second hand property without verifying with the police.
Members of the public who were victims of unlawful entry and theft from June to October this year have been advised to go and identify the recovered property at Luveve police station.
Recently police in Bulawayo arrested nine suspects, four of them taxi drivers and recovered goods valued at over $300 000 stolen from a number of households in the city. The Chronicle