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Ex-convicts repatriated from SA turn to crime in Zim

by Staff reporter
29 Apr 2012 at 23:42hrs | Views
Ex-convicts and border jumpers repatriated from South Africa are reportedly turning to crimes such as robbery, housebreaking and thefts in Beitbridge town, police have said.

So far 28 ex-convicts have been deported from South Africa in the last two weeks after serving their sentences for various offences.

When these are repatriated, they are left at the International Organisation for Migration reception centre where they are offered food and transport to their homes.

However, most of these shun such assistance and resort to crime as a source of livelihood.

The police officer commanding Beitbridge Chief Superintendent Lawrence Chinhengo, said they had recorded an upsurge in cases of armed and plain robberies in the last two weeks.

He said they had arrested over 20 suspects for various offences.

Chief Supt Chinhengo said they had re-arrested some of the criminals along the Limpopo River.

He could not release their names adding that they were still conducting the investigations since they believed suspects were part of a syndicate.

"We are worried at the recurrence of violent crimes in our area especially by people of no fixed abode who stay in the bushes along the Limpopo River.

"Recently we had about 28 ex-convicts who were deported from South Africa after serving their prison terms.

"We believe these could be the people terrorising the community, though we are making headway in arresting them.

"A week hardly passes without recording an incident of armed or plain robbery. We have intensified patrols in all problem areas with our dog section and other reaction teams.

"Most of our tracking leads us to the Limpopo River where we have arrested a number of them and recovered firearms, torches, iron bars and knives among other dangerous weapons.

"These criminals are playing hide and seek with us but I want to warn them that we are out in full force and their days are numbered.

"In some instances these suspects are targeting houses in the low density suburbs where they are stealing money, cellphones, jewellry and cars.

"Another group is targeting motorists on the highways leading to both Bulawayo and Harare.

"We have re-organised ourselves as the police and there no place to hide anymore.

"Our South African counterparts are intensifying patrols on the other side of the Limpopo River as well" he said.

Chief Supt Chinhengo said this week they recovered two cars and property worth thousands of dollars that had been stolen around Beitbridge town. He said so far four suspects have been positively identified and linked to a number of robberies in the border town.
Another three have also been linked with a spate of housebreaking and theft from motor vehicles.

He said the suspects were still in police custody and assisting them with investigations.

Chief Supt Chinhengo said they were also appealing to anyone with information to contact the nearest police station.

"We are calling on members of the community to cooperate with us so that we stop the recurrence of such crimes and bring all the criminals to book," said Chief Supt Chinhengo.

Early this week a police officer was attacked and robbed by two machete wielding men, while four other suspects armed with iron bars broke into a house in the low density suburb and stole a Nissan Cefiro.

The car was later recovered alongside a lorry in a bushy along the Beitbridge Bulawayo road.

On Tuesday evening three gunmen pounced on a bar in Dulibadzimu suburb where they made away with cell phones and R6000 cash.

All the suspects are still at large.

Another man was on Thursday morning stripped naked by four men who were armed with knives on his way to consult a faith healer near Dulibadzimu clinic.

One of the suspects was arrested on the same day while wearing the man's trousers.
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Source - TH

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