Hijacking gang nabbed after shoot-out

Crime Reporter 

THREE more men believed to be part of the gang of six suspected armed robbers and car jackers involved in a shoot-out with police near Mabvuku turn-off along Mutare Road have been arrested, bringing to nine the number in custody.

During the shoot out, one of the suspects was shot and injured on the left knee as he tried to flee after detectives had cornered the gang. 

He was taken to Sally Mugabe Central Hospital for treatment and is reported to be in stable condition under police guard.

Police then arrested Isaac Kufa (36) of Hatfield, Tonderai Murupiri (28), Patrick Mbundire (21), Casper Chigariro (42), all of Epworth, Hardlife Steven Makwarimba alias Stavo (45) of Goromonzi and Charles Yekeye (47) of Unit O in Chitungwiza.

A follow up was made and police arrested Elliot Taga (37), Tawanda Musamira (32), all of Epworth and Godfrey Katigu (34) of Glen Norah B.

 They were arrested in Epworth by detectives from the CID vehicle theft squad and were taken to Chivhu for further investigations.

Investigations show that Kufa, Murupiri, Mbundire and Chigariro would allegedly hijack vehicles before passing them onto Makwarimba and Yekeye to sell.

In one of the cases under investigation, Kufa is alleged to have gone to a car sale in the city and approached Mr Lemeo Chidziva wanting to buy an Isuzu double cab.

 He asked for a test drive and Mr Chidziva joined him. Kufa then drove the vehicle to Newlands where he lied that he wanted to pick up his mechanic, but he picked up Murupiri. They then drove back to the car sale where the two said they wanted to test drive a black Mercedes Benz C200. 

Mr Chidziva agreed and the three drove towards Chisipite. When they reached the roundabout along ED Mnangagwa Road.

Mr Chidziva suggested they return, but Murupiri, who was seated in the back, allegedly grabbed him by the neck and handcuffed him. 

He dragged him to the back seat pulled out a gun and ordered him to lie down. The two allegedly dumped Mr Chidziva in a bushy area in Goromonzi before driving off. 

But the vehicle was fitted with a tracker and detectives managed to track it on Thursday while it was parked at a house in Strathaven, leading to its recovery. 

At the house, they found Mr Tashinga Maziriri (25) who was in the process of buying the car from Makwarimba and Yekeye.

He led the detectives to the two who were arrested while waiting to receive money from him in Southerton.

Makwarimba and Yekeye then led detectives to Mabvuku turn-off where the other four suspected accomplices were waiting for their share of the money. 

After seeing that the four had been cornered, Mbundire attempted to flee and warning shots were fired but he did not take heed, resulting with him being shot on the left knee.

He was found in possession of a Mazda BT50 car key in his pocket that fitted a vehicle stolen by four men from an ex-Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service officer, George Denga (62), in a carjacking on Tuesday.

 It was recovered from a bushy area in Mabvuku and investigations are still in progress.

So far investigations have reached the stage where it is suspected that Taga, Musamira and Katigu, in the company of Patrick Mbundire and Tonderai Murupiri, were offered a lift by Mr Denga at Mbudzi roundabout before they hijacked him along the way. They tied his hands and legs with shoe laces and dumped him in the bush.

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