Armed robbery syndicate busted
NINE notorious armed robbers, who went on a rampage committing a spate of armed robberies across the country, have been arrested.
The suspects were moving around as a syndicate of up to 15 people and would scale the security walls of premises and pounce on unsuspecting occupants between July 2018 and February 11 this year.
The suspects who committed armed robbery cases in Chegutu, Chinhoyi, Harare and Kwekwe are Tinaye Rice, 27, Maxist Maruta, 33, Godknows Shumba, 39, Mugove Chimuti, 31, Tinashe Munhanga, 39, Cried Munhangu, 33, Musarurwa Chikwari, 34, Calvin Gasura, 26, and Dzingirayi Gariyawo, 34.
Four other suspects are still at large.
Upon their arrest a Peugeot 406, Mazda B2200, Toyota Hilux, Audi, live ammunition, CZ pistol, FN Rifle, Norinco pistol, Vizor pistol, explosives and detonating cables, identity and bank particulars of some of the victims and a Mercedes Benz ML320 which was recently acquired by one of the suspects were recovered.
Police chief spokesperson, Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the arrest saying in some of the cases they would undress their victims and bundle them into their gateway vehicles to delay follow ups by the police.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has bust a notorious armed robbery gang who have killed, injured, maimed people and got away with property worth $100 000,” said Comm Charamba.
“They threatened and in some circumstances shot their victims and detained them at gun point while ransacking the residential or business properties of the victims.
“In Chegutu, the robbers were so daring to the extent of kidnapping and robbing police officers who had attended a scene at a company and engaged in an exchange of fire with the officers.
“The armed robbers targeted firearms, plasma televisions, cell phones, cash and vehicles which they later used to commit other crimes.
“In a related case the police recently arrested four armed robbers who were targeting cross border buses in another spate of armed robberies, murder and attempted murder which occurred between 17th December 2018 and 29th January 2019.
“The accused persons committed the offences along Masvingo- Beitbridge Highway, Harare-Chirundu Road among others areas.
“They would board buses posing as genuine travellers and upon reaching secluded places, the accused persons would pounce on other passengers in the buses threatening to shoot them unless they surrendered their valuables.
“The four accused persons Jabson Shonhe, 39, Augustus Sibanda, 29, Freddy Genotry Chibwana, 35 and Samuel Moyo have since appeared in court where they were convicted and sentenced to between 10 and 20 years in jail.
“The trial for murder and attempted murder is still ongoing,” said Commissioner Charamba.
She said five armed robbers using the same modus operandi on Monday robbed a Brooklyn bus which was on its way to Beitbridge with cross border traders and got away with $16 310 bond notes, ZAR 198 751, US$525 and other valuables including cell phones.
Meanwhile, police are investigating a case of armed robbery which occurred in Milton Park, Harare on Sunday where four unknown armed robbers pounced on a residential premise and stabbed one occupant.
The robbers went on to ransack the house and stole a total of USD23 220, ZAR 1200, Euro 150 and 690 bond notes among other valuables, said Comm Charamba.
They damaged vehicles parked in the yard before fleeing.
She said the movie style acts by criminals where they torture, hold people hostage and wantonly kill people should stop forthwith as police will leave no stone unturned to account for such malcontents.
“Those bent on committing crime should be warned that the full wrath of the law will be applied squarely without fear or favour.
“We are urging transport operators to be aware of this new trend where by criminal elements are now targeting and stealing from passengers and bus crews.
“They should therefore be more vigilant and introduce security measures including passenger manifests where they capture passengers’ identity particulars and ensure strict searches are conducted before passengers board buses.
“Bus crews should be encouraged to stop at designated points for refreshments or rest and to engage police on security matters.
“Members of the public should take extra precautions and ensure that their doors and windows are properly secured, so that criminals do not have easy access of robbery at home and business premises,” said Comm Charamba.
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