POLICE have noted an increase in the number of urban commuters who are being robbed, saying night patrols were now being intensified to protect the masses.
Criminals are now targeting people who would have disembarked from buses and vehicles during this Covid-19 lockdown period.
Although police could not provide the statistics of the people that have fallen victims to the criminals, reports revealed that robbers were waylaying people during the night, taking advantage that most people would be in their homes.
Some of the victims have been injured, while others died during the attacks.
The police and other security agents have since increased patrols, especially in Harare and Bulawayo, where such cases are rampant.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi urged the public to avoid walking in secluded places during the night.
“Police have noted the occurrence of robbery cases in cities such as Harare, Bulawayo and others as some potential commuters are being targeted by criminals after disembarking from Zupco buses and private vehicles,” he said.
“Members of the public are urged not to travel at night, avoid boarding private vehicles which are pirating and obviously not observing lockdown measures. They should avoid secluded places and be security-conscious.
“Police and other security services have since intensified patrols in the said areas.”
The sentiments come after a Harare man was on Saturday fatally struck with an iron bar on the head and lost consciousness along Leopold Takawira Street at around 7pm.
Police said an unknown suspect searched him and stole his belongings.
“He later gained consciousness and was taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital, where he was treated and discharged, but did not report the matter to the police,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“His condition deteriorated during the night and he later died.
“Police are appealing for information which may lead to the arrest of the culprits.”
Meanwhile, police in Epworth have arrested two suspects on allegations of fatally assaulting a man and injuring his colleague after accusing them of stealing six bags of maize in Ruwa on Sunday.
The incident occurred at Mandley Park.
“The suspects carried out severe instant justice on the victim (name withheld) who had stolen their six bags of maize together with Talkmore Kwaini who is still admitted at Chitungwiza Central Hospital,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“The victim sustained bruises all over the body, a deep cut on the leg and he died upon being taken to the Epworth police station by a well-wisher.”
Asst Comm Nyathi urged the public to desist from taking the law into their own hands.