Police have arrested six suspected armed robbers, including a woman, believed to be part of an 11-member gang that got away with US$50 000 and over $46 000 in bond notes in separate incidents.
The six are Godknows Shumba of Hatcliffe, Harare; Alvin Matimure of Unit N, Chitungwiza; Decide Rice of Devon Farm in Kadoma; Febie Chabwera of Borrowdale Brooke in Harare and Peter Mutungira and Ishmael Mutungira.
Criminal Investigation Department spokesperson Detective Inspector Portia Chinho confirmed the arrests.
“The Zimbabwe Republic police would like to applaud members of the public for providing information which led to the arrest of four notorious armed robbers,” she said. “The suspects, who are part of an 11-member gang, were arrested by Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Homicide.
“They implicated their two accomplices – Peter Mutungira and Ishmael Mutungira – who have since been arrested in connection with other cases. They also implicated the other accomplices – Gift George Dandemutande, Mugove Chimuti, Tinashe Manhanga and Dread – who are still at large.”
Det Insp Chinho said the suspects were targeting business premises such as shops, as well as residential areas where they seemed to have information that victims kept large sums of money.
After his arrest, Godknows Shumba led police to the recovery of a Toyota Corolla which he bought with the proceeds of the crime.
He also led to the recovery of a .38 special revolver loaded with five rounds from his wife, Febie Chabwera, who had hidden the firearm.
In one of the counts, on May 3, at around 6.30pm, the suspects waylaid a money changer in Unit A, Seke, pounced on him at his gate before forcibly grabbing his satchel containing $25 000 cash.
They jumped into their getaway car, a Toyota Altezza with no registration plates, and sped off.
On August 23, the suspects approached another complainant at his company premises where he also resides along Old Mazowe Road in Harare.
“They purported to be genuine customers and while the complainant was in the process of serving them more suspects armed with rifles entered the shop,” said Det Insp Chinho.
“They fired some warning shots and ransacked the rooms. They took a safe containing cash -US$50 000, $20 000.00 in bond notes, a Vivo cellphone, knife- proof jacket and two CCTV servers.”
They also took $2 000 cash from one of the offices while two of the suspects who had remained guard at the main gate assaulted the security guard and disarmed him of his pellet gun.
They loaded the safe into their getaway car and fled from the scene.
Police have since warned people against keeping large sums of money at their company or residential places.
“We are saying bank all your money as workers and close associates always have a way of communicating with criminals,” said Det Insp Chinho. “We are warning all armed robbers that the net is closing in on them.
“ZRP has been rejuvenated to deal with such malcontents wreaking havoc on innocent civilians. We are also warning the general public to stop harbouring criminals, concealing weapons or stolen property.”
Det Insp Chinho said members of the public who can assist with investigations can contact CID Homicide Harare on 0242- 790897, any nearest police station or the National Complaints Desk on (0424) 703631.