SOME ex-convicts released from prisons countrywide recently are believed to be behind some of the armed robberies being committed, police have confirmed.
This comes after two people over the weekend lost a Toyota Mark X, seven cellphones, groceries and more than US$6 400 cash to five armed robbers who raided their homes in the city in separate occasions.
Harare provincial police spokesperson Inspector James Sabau, yesterday said they believed some of these criminals were working as syndicates.
He said some of them were operating in groups ranging between five and nine and were targeting homes.
In one of the incidents, a Chinese man Zhen Ming Lin (60) lost various groceries, clothes, two cellphones and US$400 cash to five armed men who raided his
Marlborough house while he was sleeping last Thursday.
The robbers jumped over the security wall to gain entrance into the yard and broke a kitchen window.
They then ‘fished’ out the kitchen keys and opened the door.
One of the robbers who was armed with a pistol then went to a bedroom where Mr Zhen was sleeping and threatened to kill him if he screamed.
They tied both his hands and legs before assaulting him all over the body with iron bars demanding cash.
Insp Sabau said the gang then ransacked the house and got away with the goods and cash.
Mr Zhen later managed to untie himself and made a report to the police.
In another incident, a Waterfalls man lost his Toyota Mark X, US$6 000 cash and five cellphones to five armed robbers who raided his house early Sunday morning.
Mr Brian Masaka (35) was alone in his home when the incident occurred at around 3 am.
Insp Sabau said Mr Masaka was in the dining-room studying when he was confronted by five armed robbers with one of them armed with a pistol.
The robber fired a shot which hit the bedroom door, threatening to shoot Mr Masaka, ordering him to comply with their orders.
They ransacked the house and stole the cellphones, cash and the car keys, before driving off in his vehicle.
A report was made to the police and they are still investigating the matter.
In March this year, about 89 hardcore criminals released from Harare jails were believed to be committing armed robberies and carjackings.
Some of these criminals were released on bail, bail pending appeal and others are said to have completed their sentences.
Police said the criminals were released between January and February this year.
They were from Harare Remand and Chikurubi Prisons only.
When released, criminals leave their addresses to prison officials so that they make follow up visits to check whether they are committing crimes or not.
Of the 89 released, 53 are not staying at given addresses and are believed to be staying at hideouts and safehouses, said Insp Sabau.