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Police bust number plates gang

by Staff reporter
03 May 2021 at 06:11hrs | Views
POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested two men who were allegedly part of a gang that stole number plates from cars around the city and affixed them onto their Honda Fit before committing crimes.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abedinico Ncube said the two were arrested last week.

"Police have arrested two accused persons namely Fayton Zata a male adult aged 27 years of Mabutweni, Bulawayo and Thabo Mthombeni a male adult aged 29 years of Mpopoma, Bulawayo on charges of theft from a motor vehicle," he said.

"On 24 April 2021 at around 11pm at Ascot shopping centre, Bulawayo, accused persons were spotted by alert security guards tampering with some motor vehicles which were parked in the parking bays. The security guards observed that the accused persons were committing theft from motor vehicles and were using scissors to open vehicle doors as well as smashing windows."

Insp Ncube said the security guards teamed up and intercepted the two who escaped but left behind their red Honda Fit, registration number ACO 9550, at the scene.  

"The abandoned motor vehicle was searched, and the following items were recovered: a national identity card and driver's licence belonging to accused number one, a pair of scissors and a set of number plates AES 4028 was in the boot," he said.

Insp Ncube said investigations were made and it was discovered that the number plates ACO 9550 which were fitted on the abandoned Honda Fit were issued for a Mercedes Benz ML 270.

"The number plates had been reported stolen on 20 April 2021 from a Mercedes Benz ML 270 vehicle which was parked at Cold Storage Commission in Belmont, Bulawayo," he said.  

"Police crack team searched on social media using Facebook and managed to identify accused person number one using the recovered particulars.  

"The team managed to communicate with the accused person through Facebook and he disclosed his residential address."

Police proceeded to raid his place and apprehended Zata.  

"The accused person was interviewed, and he admitted to have committed theft from motor vehicles and that he abandoned the vehicle, a Honda Fit at Ascot Shopping Centre in Bulawayo. Zata also revealed that he committed the offences in the company of Mthombeni adding that they committed the offence with other three accused persons only known as Bhekani, Geribee and Farai who are still at large," said Insp Ncube.

"The two arrested accused persons indicated that they got the number plates ACO 9550 from one of the outstanding accused persons known as Bhekani."

Source - the herald