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32 armed robberies in Bulawayo between March and June - police

by Staff reporter
11 Jul 2021 at 19:26hrs | Views
Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo witnessed 32 armed robberies in a four-month period between March 1 and June 30, police said on Sunday.

Two people were shot by the armed robbers, one fatally.

The shock statistics expose police's lack of resources to tackle the gangs, with robbers able to commit crimes and disappear before police – who often have no vehicles – can arrive.

Inspector Abednico Ncube, the spokesman for Bulawayo police, said January and February were relatively quiet owing to a Covid-19 induced lockdown in place at the time. Once that was lifted, robberies soared.

There were 10 armed robberies in March, eight in April, four in May and 10 in June, Ndebele said.

Police made 17 arrests, he added.

Some of the armed robberies that sent shockwaves in the city included the March 10 raid on the Access Finance Bureau De Change in which at least six armed men were involved.

They struck shortly after 8AM when a security van had just delivered cash. A rapid response team from Fawcett Security was disarmed and the robbers drove off in the company's truck which was later abandoned.

Police are still on the trail of the robbers who reportedly took a huge sum of money in the heist.

On May 22, a till operator at a liquor store at Ascot Shopping Centre died after she was shot twice in the head at around 7PM. The robbers took an undisclosed sum of money and disappeared.

A few days later, on May 27, seven trunks full of cash were taken from a security van that was collecting cash at a Choppies Supermarket in Parklands at about 10AM. Shots were fired in the incident, allegedly by the robbers to subdue supermarket staff and guards from security company, Romicon.

On June 4, a petrol attendant at a Flo Garage in Tshabalala was lucky to survive after being shot in the chest. The robbers got away with US$1,850.

Inspector Ndebele said the arrest of seven armed robbers in Harare last week was a major breakthrough which could solve some crimes committed in Bulawayo.

"We got a lot of information that is bringing us closer to some of these criminal elements that have been terrorising citizens," Inspector Ndebele said. "We're already making a lot of progress and soon those that have not been apprehended will also be behind bars."

He said they had established that some crimes committed in Bulawayo, Gweru, Kwekwe and Harare were by the same gangs.

"We have some good leads. For example, we have established how firearms are smuggled into the country for use in these illegal activities," Ndebele told the Sunday News.

He said police had increased the number of plainclothes investigators to gather intelligence or disrupt the criminals, and insisted that the ZRP was "well on top of the situation."

Source - zimlive

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