Rutendo Nyeve-Bulawayo Bureau
A GANG of 13 armed robbers yesterday ambushed three Securico Security company cash-in transit vehicles, about 9 kilometres from How Mine and got away with four guns and 11,9kg of gold worth US$450 000.
The incident occurred at around 7.30am at the 21km peg along the Bulawayo-How Mine Road.
The robbers who were travelling in three cars, a Toyota Hilux GD6, Nissan Hardbody single cab and a Nissan March, ambushed and blocked the convoy before disarming the security guards and loading the gold into their vehicles.
The gold was being transported to Fidelity Printers.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the heist saying they will release more details as investigations progress.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is investigating an armed robbery case that occurred at the 21-kilometre peg at around 7.30 am when a security company which was engaged in cash-in-transit (CIT) action was attacked by armed robbers
“Thirteen suspects disarmed the security guards and stole 11,9 kilogrammes of gold as well as four firearms. We are yet to release more details as investigations are in progress,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
When the Chronicle news crew arrived at the scene yesterday, police detectives and the private security company officials were at the scene recording statements. Three of the CIT vehicles were still at the scene with one of them being towed away.
It is alleged that when the robbery occurred, How Mine security manager (name withheld) was following the convoy from a distance using a Toyota Fortuner. He then witnessed the robbery and pursued the suspects which resulted in a shootout.
The security manager shot at one of the vehicles (Nissan Hardbody) and it veered off the road and hit a road sign post. The suspects are reported to have then jumped onto the other two vehicles while firing shots towards the security manager’s vehicle.
The high-speed chase and shootout continued until the vehicles got to Ekusileni Hospital in Hillside where the suspects escaped.
The security manager is lucky to be alive as his vehicle was hit by three bullets and one of the bullets went through the rear right window and hit the front passenger seat.
A revolver was recovered from the Nissan Hard body which was abandoned, sources said.
There has been concerns over an increase in armed robberies countrywide. Three weeks ago, armed robbers pounced on CBZ Bank’s Fife Street branch in Bulawayo and got away with US$70 000. Four days later, business came to a standstill in the Bulawayo city centre when police cordoned off streets leading to Fidelity Building where armed robbers sneaked out with US$6 270 as well as R5 000 from one of the offices in the 12-storey building.