SEVERAL families in and around Chinhamora area, Mashonaland East province, lost property and various electrical gadgets worth thousands of dollars to a gang of housebreakers that has been targeting houses left unattended during the night since January this year.
Following an increase in such cases, police in Murewa launched an operation to bust some of the criminals, leading to the recent arrest of seven suspects believed to be behind the housebreaking and thefts.
The seven are Stephen Sagonda (20), Petros Muringayi (28), Innocent Muringayi (27), Alois Tafirenyika Mverechena (22), Ian Chapasuka (23), Webster Nheredzo (21) and Itai Elis Johannes Parirewa (30), all from Chinamhora, Domboshava.
Most of the goods that were stolen were cellphones, kitchen utensils, television sets, sofas, refrigerators and stoves.
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) acting spokesperson Detective Assistant Inspector Rachael Muteweri said the seven were arrested for a spate of unlawful entry into premises in aggravating circumstances.
“During the period extending from January 2020 to August 2020, the accused persons terrorised the Chinamhora area, targeting houses that were left unattended by the complainants at night, she said.
The suspects would forcibly open locked doors, gain entry and steal various property ranging from cellphones, kitchen utensils, plasma television sets, sofas, refrigerators and stoves, among others.”
Police received information that the suspects were selling property suspected to have been stolen and they reacted swiftly.
They then arrested the suspects and recovered some of the stolen property worth $195 000.
“Some of the stolen property has since been identified by the owners, said Detective Insp Muteweri said. The suspects appeared at Harare
Magistrates Court on 10 September 2020 where they were remanded in custody to 25 September 2020.”
Detective Insp Muteweri applauded the public for continuing to assist police with information that has led to the arrest of several criminals countrywide.
She urged property owners to record serial numbers or put identifying marks on their property for easy identification.
“We also continue to encourage the general public not to leave their premises unattended, especially during the night, she said. Always endeavour to employ target hardening techniques by reinforcing the security systems at your premises.”