By Nqobile Tshili
Police in Bulawayo have arrested a mechanic who, while on the run for allegedly killing his girlfriend’s baby, stole 10 vehicles valued at more than $660 000 for joyrides.
Taboka Ndlovu from Cowdray Park suburb allegedly killed the 19 months old baby in November last year during a scuffle with the mother.
He allegedly hit the baby with a brick after missing his unnamed girlfriend and the infant later died in hospital.
Police yesterday said Ndlovu escaped after killing the tot and went on a car-stealing spree that ended two weeks ago.
Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele said Ndlovu was arrested on Sunday in connection with murder and theft of cars.
“We have arrested a 25-year-old murder suspect who allegedly threw a brick and hit his girlfriend’s 19-months-old baby following a misunderstanding. The suspect has been on the police wanted list since November,” said Asst Insp Msebele.
She said a day after killing the baby, Ndlovu started stealing cars in the same suburb.
Asst Insp Msebele said the suspect would drive the stolen cars to his rural home in Gokwe, Midlands, where he would dump them when they ran out of fuel.
“Between 18 November and 28 December 2019, the accused allegedly stole 10 cars from houses in Cowdray Park suburb. He was a lone actor in these crimes. He was targeting cars that were left parked in houses without precast walls or not secured in any form.
“He stole five Honda Fit, a Honda CRV, a Toyota Ipsum, a Nissan Sunny, a Toyota Hiace and Toyota Noah and stole property that was in the cars. In one of the incidents, he got away with US$1 000, R1 600 which was left in the car.
“All the stolen cars worth $664 825 were recovered. However, some of them were missing batteries and wheels, which the suspect had stripped and sold,” said Asst Insp Msebele.
She said Ndlovu was arrested after the baby’s father saw him fixing one of the stolen cars in the suburb and alerted cops.
Asst Insp Msebele said his arrest led to the recovery of nine other vehicles.
She urged members of the public to report suspicious activities to the police.
Meanwhile, Asst Insp Msebele urged members of the public who have complaints on police operations to alert senior officers so that their concerns are addressed.
“We have noted with concern that some people are just posting on social media that they have allegedly been mistreated by police details after getting arrested.
“However, for us to effectively deal with their grievances real or perceived, they should report to our stations starting with the Officer-in-Charge. If not satisfied with the response they can approach the Officer- Commanding-District and can even scale up their complaints and concerns to the Officer-Commanding-Province if they are not satisfied with response from their lower ranking officials.
“As Zimbabwe Republic Police, we commit to professionalism in serving the public,” said Asst Insp Msebele. The Chronicle